Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Monday 4 Jun 2007

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Highlights

- French Foreign Minister to meet UNOCI 's OIC and Force Commander

- Abou Moussa describes playing CAN qualifying match in Bouaké as positive move for peace process

- Work starts in construction of Observation Post in Kokpingue

Political

The French Minister for Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner is due to meet with the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Abou Moussa and the Mission's Force Commander General Fernand Marcel Amoussou on 9th June 2007 during an official visit to Cote d'Ivoire.

Peace process through football

UNOCI's OIC, Abou Moussa, yesterday described the hosting of an international football match in Bouaké as a "a positive spectacle that will help to consolidate peace in the country". A large team of UNOCI military and civilian personnel this weekend provided vital support to the Ivorian authorities in Bouaké to ensure the successful hosting of the match between the Ivorian Elephants and Madagascar. UNOCI was asked by the organizing committee of the event to help with transportation, medical assistance in the stadium and to have soldiers and police on standby in case of an emergency. As a result the Bangladeshi Formed Police Unit and the Moroccan Battalion, both based in Bouaké, had scores of men on hand for a quick intervention in case of an emergency. Military Observers, UN police and Moroccan troops carried out extensive patrols in the town before, during and after the match. The Ghanaian Medical contingent had two ambulances with three doctors and ten nurses to provide back up for the International Committee of the Red Cross who were responsible for medical emergencies at the stadium. The match, which was won by Cote d'Ivoire 5-0 was attended by the Ivorian Prime Minister, Acting SRSG, senior UNOCI staff and several ambassadors.

Militias

A small group of militiamen went to UNOCI's camp in Duékoué on Saturday, 2nd June 2007 to complain that they still had not received cash due to them for laying down their arms. They were advised by Security Officer to explore government channels as a way of resolving the issue.

A UNOCI patrol which went to Zebly village near Blolequin on 2nd June 2007, was told by the village chief, Mr Doasse Michel that there were still people in the village who had weapons and ammunition.

Military

Licorne will this week be carrying out a series of long range patrols and air recces to show Impartial Forces presence in Kouassi-Kouassikro, Touba, Zuenoula and Dabakala western part of Cote d'Ivoire

A UNOCI long range patrol, which went to Nanagrekro, Bezakia, Gohitafla, Kanzra and Zorofla was told that t the Mixed Brigade which was due to be deployed in Kanzra had still not arrived due to logistics and administrative constraints.

Construction work began yesterday on the Observation Post (OP) at Kokpingue in GHANBATT area of responsibility.

Training in communication, arms embargo inspections and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse was conducted in Daloa, Sector West over the weekend for Military Observers in Teamsite Gagnoa.

Human Rights

On 1 June, the Regional Human Rights Office in Korhogo organized a meeting in collaboration with the local branch of the human rights NGO Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits Humains (MIDH), on the right to education with particular attention to the respect of human rights in schools and campuses. The Office presented the mandate of UNOCI's Human Rights Division and the main human rights international standards before an audience of 100 participants including students, teachers, local authorities and representatives of local human rights NGOs.