Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Thursday 17 May 2007

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Highlights

- O-i-c Abou Moussa and Force Commander attend medal ceremony in Duékoué;

- Mixed Brigade at Zéalé thanks Impartial Forces for assistance

- Shots heard in village near Duékoué;

- UNOCI Human Rights investigating alleged killing of a man in Béoumi;

- Milobs, UNOCI-Human Rights attend reconciliation ceremony in central Côte d'Ivoire

Political

The officer in charge a.i. of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Mr Abou Moussa, and UNOCI's Force Commander, Gen. Fernand Amoussou, traveled today to the western location of Duekoue to participate in a medal ceremony at which members of the Pakistani battalion were honoured for their service to UN peacekeeping.

Mixed Brigades

UNPOL Bondoukou yesterday reported that UN Police Commissioner General Chaumont will be visiting the town from 22 to 24 May 2007 in connection with the setting up of the Mixed Gendarme Brigade in Kokpingue. UNPOL-Bondoukou visited Kokpingue to identify a site for offices and accommodation for the Mixed Brigade.

The BANBATT operations Officer in Zouan Hounien yesterday visited the Mixed Brigade at Zéalé and met its Deputy Commander, Lieutenant Silué Noukouna. Lt Silue thanked the impartial forces for all the assistance rendered to his brigade so far. He requested further assistance from UNOCI to highlight the need for repairing the telecommunication tower at Zouan Hounien, which he said would greatly enhance their operational efficiency.

A UNOCI special patrol was sent to the Zéalé Mixed Brigade location to escort a team of Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) soldiers led by the Sector Commander of Danané, Captain Eddie Meddy, who handed over six camp cots, four boxes of soft drinks and 60,000 to 70,000 cfa to Lt Silue before returning to Danané under UNOCI escort. UNOCI peacekeepers noted that the FN Sector Commander, who was armed, did not have permission from the Integrated Command Centre in Yamoussoukro to enter the former Zone of Confidence (ZOC).

Security

An FAFN soldier was killed yesterday at a checkpoint in Tehini, 88km north of Bouna. The soldier was alone at the checkpoint when he was murdered in the early hours of the morning. The fact that he had been alone was described as a serious violation of the rules by the FN Deputy Zone Commander, Lieutenant Ben Ibrahim.

A special patrol was sent from Zeregbo Camp to Georgeskro village yesterday to monitor the security situation after an alleged robbery on the night of 14/15 May 2007 and the abduction of the village chief and another man. However, due to the bad state of the road, the patrol could not reach the village and was forced to return to the camp.

A special BENINBATT patrol was sent to the western village of Glapaody yesterday after UNPOL Duekoue reported that people said they had heard gunshots coming from the direction of nearby Saada village. The villagers in Glapaody told the patrol that they had been forced to leave Saada during the war by unknown armed men. They also said that some residents of Saada fired shots every day to show their presence in the area and, in return, people in Glapaody also fired shots in the air. The villagers in Glapaody said they were scared and had asked the Sous-Prefet of Guiglo to organise a joint FANCI/UNOCI patrol to the village, but this had not happened.

UNPOL Bouaké is assisting the Forces Nouvelles police in investigating an attack on a Cameroonian man in the early hours of this morning. The man, who was travelling by road between Bouaké and Sakassou/Beoumi, was shot and hacked with a machete, but survived. An ambulance escorted by UNPOL was this morning on its way to the scene of the attack.

It was reported this morning that tension is mounting in Béoumi following an incident earlier this week in which a member of the FN reportedly killed a man suspected of stealing a mobile telephone. UNOCI Military, UNPOL and UN Human Rights are monitoring the situation closely.