Côte d'Ivoire

Daily brief on Côte d'Ivoire for Tuesday 03 Apr 2007

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- FAFN welcomes UNOCI initiative to escort convoys on Logouale-Duekeoue Road

- Villagers enquire about new Green Line

- UNOCI and UNMIL Sector Commanders hold security meeting

Security

UNPOL Bangolo has reported that a clash between two gangs of robbers on 31st March 2007 resulted in four deaths. People fearing the situation might deteriorate have been leaving the town in large numbers. The situation was reported as calm this morning and PAKBATT and UNPOL are organizing a reconciliation meeting in the town on 7th April 2007.

The Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) in Man yesterday congratulated UNOCI's initiative to give security escorts to convoys of public vehicles along the Logouale - Duekoue Road. But he also highlighted delays faced by passengers who have to wait while the convoys are organized. In connection with the escorted convoys, UNPOL Bangolo reported that there have been no road robberies since the escorts started. PAKBATT yesterday provided security escorts for seven convoys throughout the day.

The FAFN authorities in Man yesterday said that so far they had not received any instructions regarding the Green Line (the proposed name for the Zone of Confidence) and the consequent redeployment of their troops within it.

A military observer patrol which went to Teapleu village yesterday was told by villagers that they had organized a local patrol after several recent attempts to break into local shops. The villagers also expressed concern as to which side of the proposed Green Line their village would be. The Milobs explained that the Green Line has not yet been established and once it was they would be told.

Military

PAKBATT yesterday gave first aid to 10 passengers who were involved in an accident when the minibus they were travelling in toppled over some 3 km from Bangolo along the Bangolo-Logouale road. A PAKBATT patrol transported two people who were seriously injured to the ICRC Hospital in Bangolo.

A sector level meeting between UNOCI and UNMIL was held on the Cote d'Ivoire/Liberia border near Toulepleu yesterday. The meeting, which dealt with the current security situation in border areas, was attended by UNOCI's Sector West Commander and UNMIL's Sector 4 Commander. Both Commanders emphasized the importance of holding frequent meetings between Impartial Forces and UNPOL based in neighboring countries

Arms embargo

A UNOCI team comprising military observers and UNPOL from Bouaké escorted by MORBATT conducted an arms embargo inspection at Beoumi. The inspection was done with the full cooperation of soldiers at the unit.

Human Rights

On 31 March, the Regional Human Rights Office in Yamoussoukro, accompanied by UNPOL, conducted a field mission to the village of Bossi, 7 kilometers from Yamoussoukro, to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of two pupils of the Bossi 1-2 Primary School, aged 8 and 7, respectively. The mission found that teachers at this school regularly employed pupils to undertake manual labor and other tasks such as carrying water and fetching wood. The two pupils died accidentally when a sand quarry from which they were extracting sand that would be used for the construction of a refectory at the school sunk below their weight. Two other children, extracted from the quarry, were seriously injured. The families of the victims filed a complaint with the "Brigade de Gendarmerie of Yamoussoukro" and requested the Human Rights Office to follow up the case.

On 31 March, the Regional Human Rights Office in Daloa visited the civilian prison of Daloa to follow up cases of persons in long detention. At the time of the visit, the prison population of 846 included 241 persons in pre-trial detention, among them 4 women and 6 minors, and 605 men.