- In its resolution 2226 (2015), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) until 30 June 2016 and requested me to provide, by 31 March 2016, a report containing proposals for the further downsizing and possible termination of UNOCI, taking into account security conditions on the ground and the capacity of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to take over the security role of the Operation, a request reiterated by the Council in its resolution 2260 (2016). In accordance with those resolutions, a multidisciplinary strategic review mission led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations Secretariat visited Côte d’Ivoire from 8 to 20 February 2016. The present report comprises the findings of the strategic review and my recommendations concerning the future of UNOCI, as well as an update on major developments since my report dated 8 December 2015 (S/2015/940).
II. Major developments
During the period under review, the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, initiated a series of consultations with stakeholders aimed at furthering national reconciliation and social cohesion. On 7 December 2015, the President met with the chamber of traditional chiefs and kings, who advised that reconciliation and the easing of political tensions would be facilitated by measures such as releasing confiscated assets belonging to persons associated with the former President, Laurent Gbagbo, accelerating the release of persons detained for alleged involvement in the 2010-2011 post-elections crisis, encouraging the return of persons remaining in exile, supporting the reintegration of former combatants and evicting illegal occupants from national forests. The chiefs and kings also advised Mr. Ouattara to use his presidential pardon whenever applicable. On 8 December, Mr. Ouattara met with religious leaders who also underscored the importance of expediting judicial processes for persons detained in connection with the post-elections crisis, and requested support for establishing an interreligious dialogue platform.
Also on 8 December, Mr. Ouattara met with the president of the Commission nationale pour la réconciliation et l’indemnisation des victimes des crises survenues en Côte d’Ivoire, who encouraged him to continue direct dialogue with the political opposition, with a view to consolidating national reconciliation. The president of the Commission also proposed the establishment of special judicial chambers to expedite pending processes for persons detained in connection with the post-elections crisis, as well as the provisional release of detainees and the granting of presidential pardons or amnesties within the limits of the law. He further recommended the undertaking of renewed efforts to encourage the return of persons in exile, while underscoring the importance of addressing issues relating to property rights and land, particularly with respect to women and vulnerable persons.