Côte d'Ivoire

Daily briefing on Cote d'Ivoire for Tuesday 20 Mar 2007

Source
Posted
Originally published
- Ghanaian soldiers receive UN medal

- UNOCI patrol stoned in Blolequin area

- Clash between students and a group of youths in a Daloa suburb

- FDS-FN and villagers express concern over increased criminality in the ZOC

Military

A medal parade for UNOCI's Ghanaian Battalion - comprising GHANMED, GHANAIR and GHANBATT was today held in Bouake. The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cote d'Ivoire, Abou Moussa praised the Ghanaian government for its active participation in building democracy in Africa and in supporting UN Peacekeeping for the last 40 years. He thanked the Ghanaian troops for their dedication and courage in contributing to the peace process in Côte d'Ivoire. More than 130 soldiers received UN Medals during the ceremony, which was attended by Force Commander General Fernand Amoussou and the Ghanaian Ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire Kabral Blay- Amihere.

Security

A Military Observer patrol travelling from Duékoué to Blolequin was stoned near Gueya village by unidentified person or persons. The stone shattered the right side window of the vehicle but the patrol did not stop for security reasons.

Students from the Lycee Modern Dondela Fondation Khalil Ahmad yesterday clashed with youths from Gbokora, a suburb in Daloa, Sector West. The students allege that two of their school friends had been assaulted by some young people from Gbokara and their action is in retaliation. Both sides threw stones at each other until the local police intervened with teargas to disperse them. However, the students later continued with street protests on the main roads in Daloa but the police finally brought the situation under control. This situation was still tense this morning with students out on the streets.

Participants at the weekly FDS-FN conference in Man yesterday expressed their concerns over the increased number of crimes by road bandits, especially along the Man - Duékoué road. Recent incidents of two minibuses being attacked on 12th and 14th March 2007 on the road from Bangolo to Duékoué, which resulted in one dead and four injured were also discussed.

A routine patrol, which went yesterday to Zeo village was told by villagers that the road leading from the village to Bangolo had become very dangerous due to the frequent violent robberies that occur there. People said that despite patrolling by the Impartial Forces, these robbery incidents are on the increase, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, which are market days. They also said that due to the absence of law enforcement authorities in the Zone of Confidence, different ethnic groups felt free to target each other.

Humanitarian

On 19 Mar 2007, representatives from the Department of Health in Ferkessedougou asked UNOCI for assistance with transportation for a vaccination campaign against meningitis which starts today.

Human Rights

The Regional Human Rights Offices in Duékoué and Odienné in collaboration with a representative of the Direction Régionale de l'Education Nationale of Odienné (DREN) as well as the inspector of school of Madinani Sous-Préfecture conducted a fact-finding mission in the city of Man to investigate on the recent attack by highway men on the road Duékoué-Man in Béou-Zagna village (located 7 km from Bangolo) on 17 March. According to reliable sources, including witnesses, two vans were attacked in Béou- Zagna village at 9 am by unidentified armed men who shot on the vans. A total of four people, including teachers from Odienné, were injured and transferred to the hospital in Man. One teacher died the day after in hospital and was buried in Man on 18 March. The mission was not able to conclude if the attack was targeting the teachers. The two Offices are following the case with FN authorities.

On 17 March, the Regional Human Rights Office in Daloa attended a sensitization session on women rights organized by the NGO Centre d'Alphabétisation pour Adultes (CAAD). The one-day session attended by 30 participants as well as representatives of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Etre Familial (AIBEF) focused the debate on the consequence of violence against women.