Côte d'Ivoire

Daily brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Thursday 05 Apr 2007


- UN delegation due to arrive in Cote d'Ivoire on 10 April 2007

- PAKBATT arrests road bandits suspected of killing Burkinabé man

- UNOCI Military observers and UNPOL provide escort for diamond experts from UNHQ

A UN multi-sectoral delegation is due to arrive in Abidjan on 10 April 2007. The delegation, composed of human rights, political affairs, information, military and police officials will hold discussions with UNOCI personnel, UN Agencies, donors and the different actors in the Ivorian crisis in order to understand what the international community's role should be in the implementation of the accord signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007. The UN delegation will also hold discussions with members of the different political parties and is expected to travel to Ouagadougou for talks with the Facilitator of the Ivorian conflict, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso. The mission will end on 22nd April 2007


PAKBATT peacekeepers yesterday arrested three armed youths who were robbing people along the Duékoué-Bagohouo road. The soldiers also seized two 12-bore pistols and two rounds of ammunition from them. The three accused, aged 16, 17 and 20 live in the village of Tao Zeo. They were identified by a number of people who claimed they had stolen money and other articles from them, including two mobile phones. They have also been implicated in the death of a 20-year-old Burkinabé man, Kaboré Etienne.

Kaboré's mutilated body - his throat had been cut and his genital organs removed - was found in the Carrefour neighbourhood of Duékoué, the Regional Human Rights Office in Duékoué reported on 4 April. Local sources, including the president of the traditional chiefs and the judicial police, told the Office that this was not an ethnically-motivated murder but a ritual one. Cases of mutilated bodies attributed to ritual ceremonies are frequently reported in the region during this period of the year. The Regional Human Rights Office is following the case with the local authorities.

Following the death of Mr. Kabore, who was from Guinglo Zia village, a UNOCI patrol was sent to Dibobly, a predominantly Burkinabé village, to assess the mood of residents. Although tension was noticeably a little high in the village, community leaders told UNOCI peacekeepers that they would do nothing to retaliate. They said the alleged killing was an isolated incident and their intention was to go about the daily business. In a related visit to Guiglo Zia, UNOCI peacekeepers were told by the village chief that Mr. Kaboré, who sold soft drinks in the village, was probably killed by someone who knew he had money on him as he was going to Duékoué to do his shopping. He allegedly had 25,000 CFA on him.

A man in civilian clothes, who claimed to be part of the police force in Bouaké, took refuge on 3 April 2007 at the BCEAO site for fear of reprisals by the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles. The man has been handed over to UNPOL

Medical mission

A military observer patrol yesterday escorted the Medical Officer of Sector West, Dr. Mario Bien-Aime, to Seguela to conduct an investigation into a mysterious disease which killed several villagers in the Seguela area in February and March 2007.

Diamond experts

A special patrol of military observers yesterday escorted and provided transport for a team of diamond experts from UNHQ. The experts, who carried out their mission under the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 1727, visited Diarabana and Bobi diamond mines and collected information on production and illicit export of the precious stones. The villagers told them that an organization founded in 1986 by the Government and named GVC (Groupment à Vocation Cooperative) is overseeing and controlling the extraction and mining of diamonds. The right to mine is restricted to the villagers, though outsiders may also mine the diamonds provided they join GVC. The team of experts also met with local diamond traders in Séguéla

Human Rights

On 2 April, the Human Rights Office in Odienné organized a special sensitization on the protection and promotion of human rights for 70 members of the "Groupement Féminin Odienné-Sienso". The session, devoted to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, discussed mainly ways and strategies to promote.