Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Monday 07 May 2007

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Highlights

- FAFN gendarmes join mixed brigade in Zéalé;

- Seminar on information management in electoral processes organised by the American Cultural Centre in collaboration with ONUCI begins in Abidjan.

- Shots fired at watch tower of UNOCI military residential camp in Saida Beach, Abidjan

- Arms embargo inspections carried out in Guiglo, Fansara and Bulinde

Military

On 5 May 2007, BANBATT peacekeepers reported that ten gendarmes from the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN), led by the Deputy Zone Commander of Man, arrived in the western town of Zéalé to take up their duties as part of the mixed brigade there. With the integration of these gendarmes, the mixed brigade is now fully organized. However on the same day, military observers from Danané were reportedly told by the commander of the mixed brigade that their offices had not been furnished.

Security

The mixed brigade in Bangolo yesterday arrested a suspected bandit, who subsequently provided a long list of names of people whom he claimed had taken part in robberies and murders. The mixed brigade is carrying out investigations into his claims.

GHANBATT, on 5 May 2007, provided security for a meeting organized by the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI - RDA) at Kokpingue. The meeting was attended by about a hundred members from Bouna, Tehini and Doropo departments.

On the same day, a routine patrol from Daoukro Teamsite which went Doussou Kouaminkro village were told that FAFN personnel armed with rifles had gone to the village and extorted money from traders buying cashew nuts.

A man reportedly threw stones on Saturday (5 May 2007) at the watchtower of Saida Beach, the residence of UNOCI military staff officers in Abidjan. The Jordanian platoon leader contacted Ivorian gendarmes and informed them of the incident. The gendarmes later went to investigate but could not identify the perpetrator. On the following day, 6 May, Jordanian guards reported that there was a shooting some 250 metres east of Saida Beach. A crowd gathered at the scene of the incident, but quickly dispersed.

Information

A seminar on the management of information in electoral processes organised by the American Cultural Centre (CCA) in collaboration with the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire began today at CCA in Abidjan. The two-day seminar, at which journalists will produce a 10-point guide on reporting on the upcoming elections in Côte d'Ivoire, will be followed by a similar one in Yamoussoukro on 10-11 May.

Arms embargo

On 5 May, military observers from Dukeoue carried out an arms embargo inspection

in Guiglo while their counterparts from Korhogo along with UN Police carried out similar inspections in Fansara and Bulinde.

Miscellaneous

An investiture ceremony for the canton chief of the western village of Tievopleu was held in the village on 5 May 2007. The Ivorian Transport Minister and the Sous Préfet of Zouan Hounien attended the event.

French engineers last week went to Koussandougou village in the former Zone of Confidence to clear a road which had been blocked by a fallen tree for years. In 48 hours the Engineering team, with the assistance of local people and various machines, removed the large tree, which was almost two meters in diameter. The blockage of the road had obliged UNOCI forces based in Adi Yapikro and Famienkro to make a detour that doubled the distance between their two camps.

UNOCI military and civilian personnel were invited as observers to a public meeting organized the Forces Nouvelles youth movement in Bouaké over the weekend to further explain the Ouagadougou Peace Accord and its implementation.

Human Rights

On 2 May, the Odienné Regional Human Rights Office conducted a two-day mission to Kimbrela-North and Tienko (102 km and 91 km north of Odienné repectively) to build the capacities of the members of the local protection cells on human rights. It should be recalled that the Human Rights Office and Regional Education Office (DREN) supported the creation of human rights protection cells in both villages. The awareness sessions, covering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Islamic Declaration on Human Rights, were attended by 200 participants in Kimbrela-North and 91 in Tienkro including religious leaders, local authorities, members of local human rights NGOs, teachers and students. Each protection cell comprises the village chief, the mayor, a religious leader, the president of women's and a youth association, a representative each of the dozos (traditional hunters), foreign residents and civil servants and the headmaster of the local school.

On 2 May, the Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan met with the Director of the Paul Valéry secondary school in Attécoubé (Abidjan district) to discuss the organization of activities to raise human rights promotion and protection among the students. The Office presented the mandate of UNOCI's Human Rights Division and agreed with the school director on the prompt creation of a human rights club.