Côte d'Ivoire

Daily briefing on Cote d'Ivoire for Friday 23 Mar 2007

Situation Report
Originally published
- PAKBATT establishes checkpoint at Gozon village after a series of robberies

- A man is arrested for trying to sell arms to Licorne soldiers in Bouaké

- Marches protesting against PM's dismissal are planned in Yamoussoukro and Toumodi


A PAKBATT checkpoint has been established near Gozon village in the Bangolo area after three violent robberies were carried out near the village yesterday. During one of the robberies two girls were raped by four masked robbers who attacked the vehicle they were travelling in with other passengers from Gozon to Guehiebly. The masked men also stole 10,000 from the passengers. A PAKBATT patrol travelling to their camp in Diourouzon found the passengers including the two girls tied to a tree near Gozon village. In another incident, at around 8.30 a.m, a PAKBATT patrol was informed that a robbery was in progress as they approached Gozon but when they arrived at the site, the robbers had already escaped. They stole 120,000 CFA from passengers who were travelling from Gozon to Guehiebly in a minibus. The patrol established a temporary check point which was in place until 10 a.m. However at about 11a.m, the same patrol was told of another robbery. When they reached the site the culprits had already escaped leaving behind a magazine, a bandolier and some clothes. In another robbery in the same area, a PAKBATT patrol was told that six robbers had attacked passengers travelling from Duékoué to Man some 300 metres from Binao village. UNPOL Bangolo is investigating all the robberies.

UNOCI staff in Yamoussoukro have been asked to be vigilant following rumours that demonstrations against the rumoured dismissal of the Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny are to be held in Yamoussoukro and Toumodi this weekend. In Yamoussoukro, it has been reported that the Baoule community carry out demonstrations while in Toumodi, UNOCI staff were told that it would be general population demonstrating.

A Burkinabé man who allegedly tried to sell arms to Licorne soldiers in Bouaké was yesterday handed over to the local police by UNPOL. According to Licorne, the man was trying to sell other goods but also mentioned selling them a kalashnikov.

Arms embargo

Military observers from Bouna yesterday carried out an Arms Embargo Inspection at the local FDSFN camp. GHANBATT provided security escort for the team during the inspection.

Medal parade

More than 375 soldiers serving in the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire today received UN medals for their distinguished service to the Mission. The Pakistan Transport and Engineer contingents, as well as 18 Military Observers and Staff Officers, were decorated at the ceremony held in Bouaké. On Thursday, 22 March 2007, 167 soldiers from the French Genie Detachment and three Military Observers also received UN medals in a ceremony in Yamoussoukro. Both ceremonies were attended by UNOCI Force Commander, General Fernand Marcel Amoussou.

Human Rights

The Regional Human Rights Office in Duékoué attended the ceremony on the voluntary return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their respective villages. A total of 200 people were reinstated in their accommodation, in the Sous-Préfecture of Pehe and its surroundings, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Save the Children UK and by the local authorities of the Moyen Cavally region.