- UNOCI Milobs report that there are only 60 FDSCI soldiers in ICC HQ
- BANBATT launches operation Zanzra to deter bandits
- UNHCR tells BANBATT it will start repatriation of Liberian refugees soon
- Schools resume in Bangolo after alleged gang leader is arrested
At the weekly coordination meeting held at headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) in Man yesterday, the Deputy Zone Commander told UNOCI and Licorne representatives that no administrative facilities had been provided for the Mixed Brigade in Zéalé and that the gendarmes were facing difficulty in finding accommodation.
Meanwhile, UNOCI military observers in Yamoussoukro reported yesterday that the Integrated Command Centre based in the city only comprised some 60 soldiers from the Defence and Security Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (FDSCI) .
Villagers in Akanzakro, situated in the former Zone of Confidence (ZOC), have reported receiving an anonymous letter on 5 May 2007 threatening them with an attack. The letter was sent by a group calling itself Naïgué (meaning "Iron"or "Gun" in Dioula) and also nicknamed the "Magnates". It was read out to pupils at EPP B primary school in Kanzakro, which is on the road to Vavoua. Several persons identified by name are threatened in the letter. Naïgué threatened to carry out several attacks in Akanzakro and Abdoulaye Carrefour until January. The villagers said they were taking the letter seriously because a similar one was sent last year to Sikaboutou village, which was then attacked. The villagers also reported that they knew of five armed individuals who regularly carried out criminal acts in the area. These individuals, it is alleged, had attacked Abdoulaye Carrefour on 1 May 2007, robbed traders at Kabadougou market on 2 May, and robbed and molested a woman in a restaurant in Kabadougou on 3 May.
Following the departure of FDS-CI soldiers after a violent dispute with members of the local population at the end of April 2007, UNOCI's Bangladeshi troops have assisted in providing security in the town at the request of local leaders and the population. BANBATT has a permanent presence in nearby Prikro and UN Military Observers patrol the town regularly. UN Military personnel reported that the young people in Prikro did not want the Ivorian soldiers to return while their parents believe that they would have more security with the return of the soldiers. Prikro is located some 70 km north of Daoukro, on the edge of the former ZOC. At the end of April, a girl was killed and a number other villagers were wounded when soldiers from the Ivorian army opened fire on people. The soldiers were forced to leave their barracks after violent demonstrations against them by the population.
BANBAT peacekeepers yesterday conducted a special operation at Kanzra market in a bid to deter bandits who operate along roads in the area. They carried out a total of three patrols in Sucreivoire, Gohitafla and Zuenoula, and Kanzra market.
Classes yesterday resumed in schools in Bangolo - in the western part of the former zone of confidence - after a suspension of more than a month. Teachers had suspended classes on 30 March 2007, after one of their colleagues was attacked. The resumption of classes follows the arrest of an infamous gang leader in the area.
On 7 May 2007, a UNHCR delegation held a meeting at BANBATT's Charavine camp to discuss the repatriation of Liberian refugees from Cote d'Ivoire. The HCR delegation said it would encourage Liberian refugees in Danané and other parts of the country to return home by the end of June.
On 7 May, Mr. Simon Munzu, Chief of the Human Rights Division, accompanied by Mr. Guillaume Ngefa and Mr. Andrea Ori, coordinators of the Division's protection and technical cooperation units respectively, began a three-day working visit to the Korhogo area to assess the human rights situation with a view to reinforcing collaboration at the local level between the Division and other actors. He met local representatives of UN agencies (UNICEF, WFP, FAO, OCHA), international nongovernmental organizations (Save the Children Sweden and Care International) and UNOCI (Security, Electoral and NigerBatt and UNPOL) to discuss the human rights situation in the Korhogo region and strengthen their collaboration with UNOCI's Regional Human Rights office.
On 4 May, two gendarmes posted on the road near Guitrozon, a village just outside the western town of Duekoué, beat a man with their belts and the gunbutts until he fell unconscious. They alleged that he had insulted them. The victim, who was transferred to a hospital in Duékoué, sustained bruises on his face and a broken left arm.
On 3 May, two FAFN soldiers forced Mr. Doumbia Bangali and Mr. Amara Koné into the bush behind Mamadou Coulibaly Stadium, and tortured them. Mr. Bangali who had his wrists and ankles tied with ropes, was beaten with a military belt. He lost two teeth and had his left arm dislocated. Mr. Koné was left with a swollen right jaw.
On 4 May 2007, the Bouaké Regional Human Rights Office provided protection to an FAFN military element who received death threats from other FAFN elements after he reported a theft committed by his colleagues to his supervisor.
ONUCI's Human Rights Division is following up these cases with the relevant authorities.