Posted by: APO | 22 May 2008


Summary of UNOCI weekly Press Conference

[Abidjan, 22 May 2008]




The United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Kyung-wha Kang, is expected to arrive in Abidjan on Sunday, 25 May 2008 for a three-day visit, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) announced on Thursday.


Speaking during the Mission’s weekly press conference, Mr. Guillaume Ngefa, the Deputy Chief of the Human Rights Division, said that the visit would give Mrs Kang the opportunity to have a clearer idea of issues related to the promotion and protection of human rights. In this regard, he added, she will meet Ivorian government officials, officials from the National Human Rights Commission, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, representatives from UN agencies as well as members of civil society.


Responding to questions on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Ngefa said that the situation had improved significantly since the signing of the Linas Marcoussis Agreement. He however deplored the persistent routine violations such as racketeering and arbitrary detentions and arrests. “The rise in the number of violent acts, especially in the west, and the north by armed groups which are generally unidentified; as well as the inter-community violence seen in the north, south and east are worrying signs for the protection of human rights”, he added


For his part, the Military Spokesman, Colonel Mustapha Dafir, announced that UNOCI Force Commander, General Fernand Marcel Amousou, had visited Guinea on 21 May 2008, in connection with providing security during the Ivorian elections, which are scheduled to be held on 30 November 2008. The one-day visit was to discuss cooperation between the UN Mission and Guinea’s national army with regard to the monitoring of the border between Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire. This kind of cooperation would undoubtedly involve the Guinean armed forces, the Armed Forces of the Forces Nouvelles (FAFN) and UNOCI troops. With regard to securing the border with Liberia, UNOCI troops and peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will be reinforced by the Defence and Security Forces of Cote d’Ivoire (FDSCI). “This operation aims to provide the best security conditions for the coming elections”, Col Dafir explained.


UNOCI Spokesman, Hamadoun Touré, reminded the press that UNOCI continued to support Ivorians in the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement and its Supplementary Agreements. He declined to comment on the sacking of an FAFN officer who was in charge of the Vavoua-Séguéla zone. In conclusion, he announced that UNOCI will be celebrating International Day of Peacekeepers on 29 May 2008 to mark the first UN peacekeeping mission, which was deployed in 1948.



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