Côte d'Ivoire

Daily brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Monday, 30 April 2007

Source
Posted
Originally published
- Two mixed brigades installed in Bangolo and Zéalé

- FDS-CI soldiers clash with population in Prikro

- BANBATT platoon to participate in security provision for ICC

Mixed patrols

Today, two mixed 24-men brigades were installed in the western towns of Bangolo and Zéalé. Each will include 10 members of FDS and 10 of FAFN gendarmes, along with four members of the UN police force (UNPOL). Once the mixed brigades are functional, UNOCI troops will hand over law enforcement responsibilities at the entrance and checkpoints in the former Zone of Confidence to them.

In connection with the installation of the mixed brigades ceremony held today, the Sous Prefet of Zouan Hounien, Lieutenant Alla was given permission to enter the former Zone of Confidence with 60 armed men from FANCI and the Gendarmerie at Zéalé to provide a guard of honour for the ceremony.

Security

An angry crowd, on 28th April 2007, burnt two military checkpoints and one FDS-CI vehicle following a clash between FDS-CI soldiers and the local population on 27th April 2007 in Prikro. The incident happened while a meeting, attended by UNOCI representatives, was going on at the FDS-CI camp. The FDS-CI soldiers decided to leave the military camp and by 29th April 2007, they had all left; after which an angry crowd burnt the camp down. BANBATT soldiers today reported that there was currently no FDS-CI presence in Prikro and there were no checkpoints around the town. UN Military Observers, UN police and BANBATT troops are in the town and have increased the number of patrols in this area. According to reports from UNOCI troops on the ground, trouble started on 27th April 2007, when a group of FDS-CI soldiers went to the local market and demanded money from some of the local shopkeepers. When they refused to hand over any cash, the soldiers took some people to their military camp and beat them. When their families discovered what had happened, they held a protest outside the camp and the soldiers responded by firing in the air which resulted in the death of an 11 year old girl and her father being injured. A shopkeeper also reportedly suffered a broken arm. UNOCI has asked that an inquiry be held on the incident.

A team from UNOCI's Electoral Assistance Section in San Pedro, reported on Saturday, 28th April 2007 that three individuals had been killed some 12 km from Soubré on Friday,

27th 2007. According to the staff members, who were on mission in the Soubré region, the three bodies were found by the road side. They were told by local Gendarmes that the dead men were road bandits who had previously killed a Gendarme and had died in a clash with the Gendarmerie.

Near the village of Dekokaha, on the main axis route between Ferkéssedougou and Ouangolo, five men armed with AK47s attacked five cars on 27th April 2007. The robbers stole seven mobile phones and 1.4 million CFA. This was the second reported attack on this road in the last two weeks according to Licorne. It was also suggested that there was advance information about the amount of money being carried in this convoy of cars. UNOCI Military Observers and NIGERBATT troops and UNPOL have been ordered to increase the number of patrols in this area.

Disarmament

The disarmament and dismantling of militias processes, which were due to start this week, have been postponed as negotiations are still ongoing.

With regard to the attribution of ranks, the Ivorian Minister of Defence has decided to create a commission which will rule on the issue on a case by case basis.

Military

Following the inauguration of the Ivorian Integrated Command Centre, a ceremonial parade to mark the official functioning of the centre was held in Yamoussoukro on 27th April 2007. A BANBATT platoon was deployed as the UNOCI unit scheduled to participate in the security provision of the ICC.

Miscellaneous

UNOCI Military Observers in Danané have been informed by the Sous Prefet of Zouan Hounien that from 3 to 9 May 2007, he will initiate an "information and sensitization" exercise in some villages on the progressive dismantling of the former Zone of Confidence.

UNOCI Military reported over the weekend that ten people had died following a Meningitis outbreak in Ferkéssedougou. UNOCI medical personnel are sending out instructions to all UN personnel on precautions that need to be taken. The World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health have been informed.

UNOCI Military reported this morning that people in Mango village near Bouna were not aware that Guillaume Soro was now the Prime Minister of Cote d'Ivoire. They expressed appreciation for the Public Information leaflets that the Military Observers gave them, as this was how they learned of new developments in their country. According to the PIO Officer based in Bondoukou, there are some villages in this region that do not know that the war has ended.

Human Rights

On 27 April the Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan conducted an investigation on a summary execution by members of the "Centre des Opérations de Commandement et de Sécurité" (CECOS) of an alleged robber on 25 April. Members of CECOS arrested and executed one of the four gangsters who attempted to rob a bank, the "Caisse Nationale d'Epargne et de Crédit" (CNEC) in Koumassi Sogefia (Abidjan district) while the three others escaped. The Office is following up the case with the Abidjan Prosecutor's Office.

On 28 April, the Regional Human Rights Office in Odienné participated at an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign organized by the "Réseau des Professionnels des Médias, des Arts et des Sports" (REPMASCI). Imam Coulibaly Sibiri reiterated the need for religious leaders to take active part on sensitizing the population on HIV/AIDS as well as on the right to health, the right to education and the right to an healthy environment. The REPMASCI opened a Regional office in Odiénné on the same day.