Côte d'Ivoire

Daily Brief on Cote d'Ivoire for Tuesday, 27 Mar 2007

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- Impartial Forces intensify patrols after robberies on Bangolo - Duekoué axis

- Huge demonstration in support of Prime Minister Banny

- Didier Drogba meets Guillaume Soro

- UNOCI's Human Rights Section launches sixth report

Human Rights Report

UNOCI's Human Rights Section today presented its sixth report on the human rights situation in Cote d'Ivoire to the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of UN Agencies at the Mission's headquaters in Sebroko. Speaking at the event, the Acting Head of Mission, Force Commander General Fernand Marcel Amoussou said that although the Ouagadougo Accord does not directly address human rights or the fight against impunity, there is a direct link between human rights and peace. He added that no country could enjoy peace and security if human rights are not respected.

African Footballer of the Year in Bouaké

African Footballer of the Year and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Didier Drogba will meet the Secretary General of the Forces Nouvelles, Guillaume Soro, in Bouaké tomorrow to present him with his trophy. A ceremony will be held at La Place de la Paix in the centre of Bouaké. The celebrated footballer presented his trophy to President Laurent Gbagbo earlier this week and expressed the desire to do the same in Bouaké.

Joint patrols

Joint patrols between UNMO's and UNPOL's began yesterday in Bouaké. The new programme, which is for the entire country, is designed to reinforce UNOCI's contact with local authorities and to allow the two units to share information. Meanwhile UNPOL and the FDS-FN continue to carry out day and night joint patrols, which gives the UN Police the opportunity to share their expertise with their local counterparts as well as increases the confidence of the population to see the two forces working together.

Security

The Impartial Forces have intensified patrolling in the Bangolo - Duekoué axis of the Zone of Confidence following a series of violent robberies in the area. In addition PAKBATT will provide escort patrols to minibuses travelling between Duekoué and Logouale. The latest incidents, which prompted these actions, happened yesterday 2 kms north of Bangolo, during which seven armed robbers stopped killed a man motorcyclist named Kone Zoumana when he resisted their attempts to rob him and another motorcyclist. In a second incident, 3 kms north of Bangolo, seven robbers also killed a youth, aged 15, who tried to run away when they stopped a bus he was travelling on with other passengers. The Forces Nouvelles authorities yesterday also expressed concern at the high incidence of violent robberies in villages in the Zone of Confidence between Bangolo - Duekoué at their weekly conference held in Man yesterday.

A man named Bli Bi Zanti Benoit from Zahibo village was yesterday stabbed to death by his son who claimed his father could not look after the family or provide food for them. UNPOL and BANBATT are investigating the murder.

Political

On Saturday, 24th March 2007, about 10,000 people, mainly Baoulés, gathered at the Jean Paul II Place in Yamoussoukro to demonstrate their support for Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny. Among them were about 300 traditional leaders. The demonstrators said that Cote d'Ivoire's problem should not be reduced to who is Prime Minister of the country.