- The deputy Force Commanders of the Impartial Forces attend the release- of-prisoners ceremony in Bouake;
- UN Force Commanders in sub-region to meet in Abidjan;
- Timber dispute raises tension between youths in two villages near Divo
UNOCI's Deputy Force Commander, General El Hadji Mouhamadou Kandji, and the Deputy Commander of the Force Licorne were among guests invited to a ceremony marking the release of the last three prisoners from the government side held by the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN). Three officers of the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces (FDS-CI), two gendarmes and one para-military officer were handed over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who in turn handed them over to the FDS-CI behind closed doors.
The Force Commanders from the three UN missions in West Africa - UNOCI, the UN Mission in Liberia and the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone - will hold their 13th meeting on 28-30 June 2007 at UNOCI headquarters in Abidjan.
UNPOL Gagnoa reported yesterday that youths from two villages in Divo area have been involved in a dispute over timber resources. The problem started when the people of Brobodougou village allowed a company to cut down trees in their area. The residents of neighbouring Godiléhéré village also wanted to benefit from the activity, but the villagers from Brobodougou refused. This led to a disagreement and youths from both villages started arming themselves with clubs and machetes. A meeting between leaders of the two villages failed to settle the issue, as did a reconciliation meeting organized by UNOCI Military Observers. The Milobs finally referred the matter to the Prefect's office in Divo, but there is still tension between the two villages.
UNOCI peacekeepers have reported unconfirmed claims of extortion in the Facobly area by FAFN soldiers. FAFN officials have promised to investigate the claims.
Representatives from UNOCI and UN agencies yesterday met with the Director General of the Central University Hospital (CHU) in Bouaké. The visit was organized by the representative of the World Health Organisation based in Bouaké after concerns were raised about the medical facilities in the town.
At the invitation of the Government of Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Walter Kälin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, started a seven-day visit to Cote d'Ivoire (23-30 June) to assess the situation of displaced persons since his last visit in April 2006. During the visit, he is scheduled to meet with government officials, displaced persons and international institutions. He will conduct a field visit to Bouaké and the western region of Côte d'Ivoire. Humanitarian organizations estimate that about 1.5 million people have been internally displaced since the beginning of the crisis in September 2002. The visit of the Special Representative is taking place in the wake of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement that has created an enabling environment for the return of IDPs.
On 23 June, the Regional Human Rights Office in Bouaké made a presentation on rights and duties included in international humanitarian and human rights legal instruments at a conference organized by the school teachers association at the Lycée Municipal Djibo Sounkalo. The right to education received special attention during discussions by the 120 participants at the conference.