- President Laurent Gbagbo appoints Guillaume Soro as new Prime Minister;
- Military Governor of Moyen Cavally praises PAKBATT security escorts;
- Arms embargo inspection in Mbahiakro
UNOCI presents its sixth Human Rights report;
President Laurent Gbagbo today signed a presidential decree appointing the Secretary-General of the Forces Nouvelles, Guillaume Soro, as the new Prime Minister of Cote d'Ivoire. The appointment is in line with the Ouagadougou Peace Accord signed on 4 March in the Burkinabe capital with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the four-and-a-half-year conflict. Mr. Soro is the third Prime Minister since the beginning of the Ivorian crisis in September 2002. He replaces Mr. Charles Konan Banny, appointed in December 2005 following the dismissal of Mr. Seydou Diarra.
PAKBATT yesterday provided security escorts to more than 14 convoys of civilian vehicles between Logoualé and Duékoué, a high-crime area where road bandits have regularly attacked travellers recently. The peacekeepers spend more than ten hours per day escorting these vehicles. At a meeting of local transporters held at his residence in Duékoué on the same day, the Military Governor of Moyen Cavally commended PAKBATT for this latest security initiative.
A UNOCI patrol comprising GHANBATT and UNPOL-Bouna yesterday went to Siraoudi in the Zone of Confidence after receiving information about an alleged suicide. The patrol confirmed that Mr. Delmite Dah, aged 40, shot himself with a locally manufactured gun on 27 March 2007. His corpse was found by his brother. The weapon, one live cartridge and one empty cartridge are in the custody of UNPOL for further investigations.
Military Observers from Daoukro, escorted by BANBATT, successfully carried out an arms embargo inspection at the Defence and Security Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (FDSCI post in M'bahiakro.
In a report published on Thursday, UNOCI deplored serious human rights violations committed in Cote d'Ivoire by members of the Joint Defense and Security Forces (FDS), the Armed Forces of the New Forces (FAFN) and people involved in communal conflicts. Presented at UNOCI's weekly press conference by the head of the Human Rights Division, Simon Munzu, the 6th occasional report on the human rights situation in Cote d'Ivoire also denounced the excesses of "Young Patriots" - members of armed militias and groups who have committed atrocities and sown insecurity in the West, particularly in the Zone of Confidence that is jointly patrolled by UN and French Licorne forces.
In another development Mr. Munzu delivered a paper on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at a special meeting organized on 28 March by the Fédération Ivoirienne des Organisations pour Personnes Handicapées, an umbrella organization for disabled persons in Cote d'Ivoire. The objective of the meeting was to raise awareness about, and promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the country. It also marked the launch of a public campaign for the ratification of the Convention by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire. Mr. Joel N'guessan, Minister of Human Rights, chaired the ceremony. About 100 participants from the ministries of Human Rights, Solidarity and Victims of War, and NGOs as well as several disabled persons attended the panel discussion on this new treaty for the promotion and protection of disabled persons, which will be open for signature at the UN Headquarters in New York on 30 March. Commending the presence of the Human Rights Chief, the organizers requested UNOCI to support them in their efforts to secure a better protection of the rights of disabled persons in Cote d'Ivoire and to obtain the rapid signature and ratification of this new instrument.
On 28 March 2007, the Regional Human Rights Office in Abidjan participated in the inauguration of the human rights club of the Classic School of Abidjan. The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Human Rights, Mr. Joël Nguessan, who, in his address, stressed the need for the students to learn human rights concepts and to contribute to their dissemination. He thanked UNOCI's Human Rights Division for assisting his Ministry in the establishment of human rights clubs in schools and colleges. The Minister of Human Rights, with the assistance of UNOCI Human Rights Division, has established a total of 10 clubs, including 5 in the Abidjan District, 3 in Bouaké and 2 in the town of Oumé, located 50.