- UN Security Council delegation arrives in Abidjan;
- Ivorian Prime Minister presides over redeployment ceremony for prefets and sous-prefets in Bouaké;
- UNOCI and Licorne Forces attended peace mass in Yamoussoukro;
- UNPOL arrests three people after crime wave in Bonoufla area;
- UNOCI donates t-shirts for Day of African Child ceremonies
UN Security Council delegation
A UN Security Council delegation arrived in Abidjan on Monday for a day-long visit in Cote d'Ivoire. The delegation is here to congratulate Ivorian parties for taking charge of the peace process and to encourage them to implement the Ouagadougou Political Agreement (OPA). It will also discuss with the Ivorian parties and the Facilitator, the role of the United Nations in monitoring the peace process.
During their stay in Cote d'Ivoire, the members of the Security Council will have meetings with the signatories of the OPA, President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, to reiterate the UN's availability to support the full implementation of the Agreement.
Redeployment of Administration
An official ceremony was today held in Bouaké to mark the redeployment of préfets and sous-préfets in the north, west and centre of Cote d'Ivoire by virtue of a decree signed by President Laurent Gbagbo on 7 June 2007. Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, who presided over the ceremony, attended by hundreds civil servants, said that that it was a key step in the reconciliation process throughout the country and specifically towards the starting of the identification process, which will eventually create a voter's list. The Officer in charge of UNOCI, Abou Moussa, was represented by the Chief of the Electoral Assistance Section, Amedou Seck.
A peace mass, which united soldiers from the National Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FANCI), Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) and the Impartial Forces, was held at the Basilica in Yamoussoukro on 16 June 2007. It was attended by hundreds of soldiers, including the Chief of General Staff of the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces, General Philippe Mangou, and the Minister of Defence.
The French engineering company based in Yamoussoukro is in the process of rehabilitating an area in UNOCI's Yamoussoukro camp that will act as a warehouse for storing weapons collected during the DDR process.
A UNPOL patrol which yesterday went to Bonoufla and surrounding villages, an area which has been shaken recently by a wave of criminal activity, arrested three suspects. The three men, who are accused of various acts of banditry along the main roads, have been handed over to the Daloa Gendarmerie.
The Ghana Aviation unit based in Bouaké yesterday donated two water storage tanks to a local orphanage that takes care of 57 abandoned children. The two tanks have already been installed on blocks and connected to pipes, providing 5,600 litres of water to the building. The tanks were bought in Accra, Ghana, transported, cleaned and installed by the Aviation unit.
Thousands of children attended a ceremony to commemorate the International Day of the African Child organized by UNICEF at Zele on 16 June 2007. The theme of the event was "Fight Against Child Slavery". It was attended by Ivorian Minister of Commerce, Mr. Soumahoro Youssouf, a representative of the Prime Minister's Office, the UNICEF Representative in Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Omar Youssouf, various Forces Nouvelles officials including the Zone Commander for Man, BANBATT peacekeepers, military observers and representatives of UN Agencies.
In Yamoussoukro on the same day, the Public Information Office in the Ivorian capital provided T-shirts and notebooks for an event organised in celebration of the day by the Ivorian Children's Parliament. UNOCI's Human Rights Officer gave a presentation on the trafficking of children in the West African sub-region. Staff from UNOCI's Electoral Assistance section also attended the event.
BENINBATT provided medical support and drinks for a cross-country run organized in Guiglo to raise awareness on the AIDS pandemic in Côte d'Ivoire. Two doctors, two nurses and one ambulance were on hand to attend to some 300 athletes who took part in the event.
Friendly handball and volleyball matches were organized at PAKBATT Battalion HQ Duékoué between teams of PAKBATT and the Lycee Moderne in the town.
On 15 June, the Regional Human Rights Office in Odiénné participated in the sensitization of 700 people on democracy and human rights by the women's association Promo Femmes 2000 at Madinani located about 75 km east of Odienné. The session was attended by the Electoral Unit, UNPOL, members of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN), local NGOs as well as religious and traditional leaders. The representative of the regional administration, the Conseil Général, stated that sensitization on democracy and human rights would help enhance respect for human dignity in general, and the rights of women in particular, in the region. The President of Promo Femmes noted that such a programme would enable the participation of women in the peace process negotiations as well as in the process of democratization in the country. [Comments: Female genital mutilation and forced marriages are still common in the Sous-Préfecture of Madinani].
On 13 June, a Benin national reported to the Regional Human Rights Office in Yamoussoukro that she was the victim of racketeering at a checkpoint in Tiébissou on her way to Bouaké. Despite being in possession of a valid identification card, elements of the FDS-CI asked to be paid 5000 FCFA (US$ 10) each by her and eight other travellers. They were stopped for more than two hours and allowed to continue their journey after they agreed to pay the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces (FDSCI) soldiers 3,000 FCFA each.