UNOCI

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Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission welcomes release of 14 former Gbagbo government aides

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6 August 2013 The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) today welcomed the decision by judicial authorities in Abidjan to provisionally release 14 officials from the former government headed by Laurent Gbagbo who are currently awaiting trial.

“This development will bring about peace between all Ivorian political actors,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNOCI, Aïchatou Mindaoudou.

“It contributes to the pursuit for equal justice and is a good sign for a national dialogue that is truly republican, as part of the search for lasting reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.”

UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process between the rebel-held north and Government-controlled south following the 2002 civil war.

The West African nation’s 2010 presidential election, meant to be the culminating point in the peace process, resulted in months of violence when Mr. Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to Alassane Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo finally surrendered the following April.

In the aftermath of the post-election violence that followed the 2010 presidential polls, UNOCI assisted with a number of key tasks, including the restoration of law and order, national reconciliation, the holding of legislative elections and economic recovery.

Ms. Mindaoudou encouraged all Ivorian political actors to seize the occasion to commit to an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation, which are prerequisites to establishing lasting peace and economic development in the country.

Among the officials released are the president of the Front Populaire Ivoirien, Pascal Affi N’Guessan; the son of the former president, Michel Gbagbo; and the former Minister of Defence, Lida Kouassi.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45575&Cr=ivoire&Cr1=

Côte d&#39Ivoire on right track despite challenges, Security Council told

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18 July 2013 While Côte dIvoire is on the right path following a violent post-election crisis in 2011, threats to its peace and political stability should not be underestimated, a senior United Nations official today said, urging the Security Council to extend the UN Mission in the country, known as UNOCI.

UNOCI’s presence in Côte dIvoire remains essential, particularly with respect to its core priorities of protecting civilians, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, and security sector reform, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous told the 15-member Council.

Presenting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the West African country, Mr. Ladsous praised President Alassane Outtara and his Government for taking signing steps to tackle many of the challenges facing the country. Among these, he noted the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of some 65,000 former combatants.

He cautioned, however, that the former combatants could become a threat to human rights and stability in Ivory Coast and the sub-region, as they are more likely to pick up arms again should the opportunity arise.

Summarizing the other key aspects of the report, Mr. Ladsous called on all Ivoirians to resolve their political difference peacefully and stressed his concern over the country’s political fragmentation.

In the report, Mr. Ban said: I therefore urge the Government and the former ruling party to resume discussions, while continuing dialogue with other parties, to pave the way for the political reconciliation that will be essential as we move towards a new electoral cycle in 2015. He also notes the upcoming presidential and legislative elections will be a litmus test for the country.

Côte dIvoire’s 2010 presidential election, meant to be the culminating point in a long-running UN peace process, resulted in months of violence when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to Alassane Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo finally surrendered the following April.

In a key milestone earlier this year, the country successfully held regional and municipal elections. These demonstrated the ability of national authorities and security forces to assume responsibility for organizing the safeguarding the voting process and the commitment of citizens to the democratic process, the report noted commending the vote.

In his summary of Mr. Ban’s report, Mr. Ladsous noted the positive work of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission which is due to end in September. He urged officials to promote further efforts to combat impunity to ensure that those responsible for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law be brought to justice irrespective of their political affiliation.

Security while improved remains a concern for the country, particularly along the border with Liberia. During a quadripartite meeting in April, the two Governments agreed to enhance their presences at the border area and to take steps to strengthen security and reinforce humanitarian coordination. These efforts are supported by UNOCI and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Other threats detailed by Mr. Ladsous include the presence of mercenaries, former combatants and other armed elements; the uncontrolled circulation of weapons; criminal activities; and, violence between communities remain of concern, as well as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, drug trafficking and organized crime.

The UN peacekeeping chief praised UNOCI’s efforts to enhance protection of civilians, including through increased civilian field presence and contacts with local authorities.

Mr. Ladsous also noted that while the Secretary-General’s report proposed benchmarks to measure the country’s progress towards long-term stability and to prepare for a potential transition, it is still too early to predict when UNOCI will start its transition.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45445&Cr=Ivoire&Cr1=

Côte d&#39Ivoire: UN mission strongly condemns attack on disarmament convoy

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2 July 2013 The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte dIvoire today strongly condemned an attack on a disarmament convoy carrying its national authority head, and urged that those responsible be brought to justice.

The UN Operation in Cote dIvoire (UNOCI) calls on the competent Ivorian authorities to take all measures to identify the authors of the attack and bring them before the law, according to a statement from Abidjan.

A convoy of the national Authority for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) was attacked on 1 July on a stretch of road between the towns of Ferkessedougou in the north and Kong in the northwest.

UNOCI said at least one person was killed and there are media reports of three other people wounded.

The Mission regrets the death of a gendarme who was part of the security escort and expresses it sympathy to the bereaved family, UNOCI said in a statement. It wishes a quick recovery to those injured.

Fidele Sarassoro, ADDR Director-General, was in the convoy but does not appear to have been hurt in the attack.

In its statement, the Mission supported the DDR activities in the country saying that their progress is indispensable to the restoration of state authority and the return to normalcy in the West African country split by civil war in 2002.

UNOCI calls on all parties concerned to remain calm and undertake no action that could hamper the smooth functioning of the DDR process, the Mission said.

It added that it welcomes progress made so far and stands by the Ivorian Government in its quest to consolidate peace.

UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process between the rebel-held north and Government-controlled south following the 2002 civil war.

In the aftermath of the post-election violence that followed the 2010 presidential polls, the peacekeeping mission assisted with a number of key tasks, including the restoration of law and order, national reconciliation, the holding of legislative elections and economic recovery.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45327&Cr=UNOCI&Cr1=

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