- 7th leg of UNOCI schools caravan in Yopougon
* UNOCI troops work closely with FAFN to make Cote d'Ivoire/Madagascar soccer match a success
As part of its ongoing programme to sensitise Ivorian school children in the culture of peace, UNOCI today took its seventh schools caravan to the College Moderne in Yopougon, a district in Abidjan. Yopougon, a stronghold of young patriots hostile to UNOCI, has been a no-go area for the mission's personnel for the last three years. The event was attended by pupils from College Moderne FRELEC and Groupe Scolaire Les Anges attracted a crowd of some 700 participants including representatives of the local authorities and the Ministry of Education. Some of the pupils called on UNOCI to maintain its presence in order to ensure that Cote d'Ivoire finds a lasting peace, adding that the situation was still fragile despite the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. For their part, some of the teachers said that they were willing to include peace studies in their curriculum under moral and civic education courses. In a parallel meeting, the traditional chiefs were briefed on the Bangolo Forum on Social Cohesion. They in turn commended UNOCI for its contribution to the peace process. Yopougon was the seventh leg of UNOCI's schools caravan launched on 14 February 2007.
UNOCI's military contingents in Sector East are working with Licorne and the Forces Nouvelles on a security plan for the match between Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar to be played in Bouake on 3rd June 2007. The Formed Police Unit stationed in Bouake, Ghana Aviation and the Moroccan Battalion are putting together contingency plans for the weekend match. At a news conference held yesterday, Colonel Major Sinima Bamba, head of the Forces Nouvelles organizing committee, thanked the UNOCI and Licorne for their practical assistance in helping to create the conditions for the match. Bamba stated that the organizing committee would convene a tri-partite meeting with UNOCI, Licorne and FDS-FN commanders to coordinate security before, during and after the match.
UNOCI's Abidjan Reserve Team yesterday conducted an arms embargo inspection of the one Base Aerienne Abidjan with Licorne. TOGOBATT provided escort and the inspection was successfully conducted.
During the past few days, UNOCI's Regional Human Rights Offices in Daloa, Issia and Bouake conducted human rights training for pupils and members of the human rights clubs. In Daloa, 39 members of human rights clubs from the Lycee Mordene II and the Lycee Antoine Gauze received special training on international human rights norms on 29 May 2007. The pupils were given examples of cases and asked to detect where violations had been committed, in the light of these international norms and to use domestic remedies. In Issia, 300 participants, including teachers, were briefed on respect for human dignity at a special training session on 23 May. The Human Rights Office in Daloa, which provided a small grant for this training, also distributed hundreds of copies of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to the participants. On 26 May 2007, in accordance with its strategy for promoting human rights awareness among pupils, the Regional Human Rights Office in Bouake attended the final competition, Genie en herbe, organised by the Human Rights Club of College Saint-Viateur. This competition, attended by 100 pupils, focused on violence against women, discrimination and sexual exploitation. The winners will receive their prizes on 16th June 2007, at an awards ceremony at the school.
[Comments: Due to the success of the human rights clubs in awareness-raising, the Regional Offices of the Human Rights Division continue to receive requests from schools to assist in establishing human rights clubs within their respective institutions.]
The UN Human Rights Office in Bouake this morning announced that the amnesty decreed by President Laurent Gbagbo is being implemented in FAFN areas. Thirty-six prisoners were released last week from prisons around the region while the release of another four prisoners is pending. The majority of those released were accused of infiltration in the Zone either for the FPI or for following the ex-communicated FN leader known as IB.