- Zéalé Mixed Brigade Commander to complain to ICC about lack of equipment;
- No increase in crime in ex-Zoc despite media reports, says ONUCI
- UNPOL evacuates businessman attacked by robbers in Zangadogou
- UNPOL in Brobo investigates two attacks against civilians;
- Human rights division continues mission in the North
A 5km stretch of road from Guiglo to Peace Town, a Liberian refugee camp, that was rehabilitated by Force Licorne, ONUCI and the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces (FDSCI), was yesterday inaugurated at a ceremony chaired by the FDSCI Chief of Staff General Phillipe Mangou, accompanied by the Military Prefet of Moyen Cavally and the Force Commanders of UNOCI and Licorne. Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Mayor of Guiglo thanked the Impartial Forces for rehabilitating the road which, he said , was important for the town's economy.
Members of the Mixed Brigade based in Zéalé, accompanied by UNPOL, paid a working visit to UNOCI's Danané camp yesterday. They mentioned that their brigade has been operational since 5 May 2007, but stressed that they had minimum logistical support, given to them by the Prefect of Zouan Hounien. They said that they had no office furniture, water or fuel. The Commander of the Brigade said he intended to go to the Integrated Command Centre in Yamoussoukro next week to discuss the issue.
BANBATT peacekeepers yesterday provided security to military observers from Odienné while they carried out an arms embargo inspection at the FAFN Units in Ouelli. However, a similar inspection scheduled to be carried out on the same day at the "Bataillon du Génie" in Bouaké could not be done because the Company Commander refused to proceed in the absence of the liaison officer.
UNOCI's forces on the ground have reported no significant increase in the level of crime in the former zone of confidence since the lifting of the zone began on 16 April, contrary to reports to that effect in some media, UNOCI Director of Public Information Margherita Amodeo said today at the mission's weekly press conference. Ms Amodeo also exhorted Ivorians, on UNOCI's behalf, to do everything they can to ensure the success of the new phase of the peace process. While noting that there had been significant advances since the signing of the Ouagadougou Agreement - including the creation of the Integrated Command Centre, the launch of the gradual elimination of the zone of confidence, the creation of the first mixed brigades and the holding of the Governmental seminar - she stressed that for the process to succeed it had to be supported by Ivorians at all levels.
UNPOL Bonoufla yesterday evacuated a businessman who had been shot by armed robbers to Daloa Hospital. The man, Kone Bi Brahima was shot in Zangadogou on his way from Bonoufla market. He had reportedly refused to hand over money demanded by the robbers.
UNOCI Military in Brobo yesterday reported two attacks that took place in the former Zone of Confidence south of the town on the 8 May 2007. The first was an attack against a woman in Bouribana village, some 20 km east of Brobo. Her home was attacked by four men armed with automatic rifles, but it is not clear what was stolen. The woman, who was wounded, was later evacuated to the CHU Hospital in Bouaké. The second attack was perpetrated by four men armed with automatic weapons, who stopped a truck on the road between Tié-Ndiekro and Brobo and took all of the money the driver was carrying. The truck was allowed to continue on its way and when the driver arrived in Brobo he informed the UNOCI commander. UNPOL was alerted to both incidents and will investigate with the assistance of UNOCI military.
The village chief of Goya on the road from Duékoué to Guiglo yesterday told a BENINBATT patrol that there were some 3,000 armed men in his village.
The Civil-Military Unit attached to the Force Licorne yesterday distributed school kits to students at the Providence Centre in Bouaké. Tomorrow, 11 May, at 11.00 a.m, there will be a ceremony inaugurating a medical dispensary in the Nimbo district in Bouaké.
The Resident Representative of UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) will be undertaking a three-day working mission to the Sakassou and Bouaké regions from 11 to 13 May 2007. The mission will include visits to nine health centres in the former ZOC and in and around Bouaké that were rehabilitated with the assistance of UNICEF. The mission will also include visits to four primary schools to be renovated with UNICEF's assistance.
On 9 May, an ongoing Human Rights Division mission in northern and central Côte d'Ivoire visited Dikodougou, located around 50 km from Korhogo, to receive from relatives of Soro Ladji - reported missing since his arrest and detention by FDS-FN elements in Korhogo in October 2004 - the latest information about this case. The victim, a business man and owner of several plantations in the region, was allegedly accused of being the leader of a gang of robbers involved in several attacks in Dikodougou. Reliable sources indicated that FN elements arrested his relatives and workers, who were later released upon payment of amounts varying from 100.000 to 500.000F FCFA. All attempts to further investigate the case with the Forces Nouvelles have failed. The Human Rights Division intends to raise the issue with FN leaders in Bouaké and Abidjan.
On the same day, the delegation led by the Chief of the Human Rights Division met with representatives of local NGOs and civil society organizations, including human rights, democratic, women's and religious groups, to exchange views on the prevailing human rights situation in Korhogo. The NGOs expressed serious concerns regarding the enduring impunity in the region. They requested UNOCI not only to provide them support in terms of strengthening their capacity but to protect them from reprisals by those whom they denounced for human rights violations.
On 8 May 2007, the Bouaké Regional Human Rights Office met with a villager from Assandre (a village about 10 km southeast of Bouaké), who said he had been beaten up on 29 April by FDS-FN elements under the command of Major Soro Dramane, called "Docteur", Commander of Sector South, because he did not pay them at a checkpoint located next to the village. According to the victim, one of the FDS-FN members, forced him to leave his bicycle at the checkpoint after he told them that he had no money. The two FDS-FN elements then went to his home and started to beat him up. One of them hit him with his shoes on the head. The Office noticed injuries on the victim's left arm and left leg. It will discuss the case with Major Soro Dramane.