Posted by: africanpressorganization | 21 April 2009

Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI organises first ever forum in Lakota



Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI organises first ever forum in Lakota


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, April 21, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — For the first time since it was deployed in April 2004, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has organised its sensitization and discussion forum in Lakota, 244 km from Abidjan, in an attempt to put an end to years of mistrust and misunderstandings.


Addressing officials and the huge crowd which attended the event, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in charge of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Georg Charpentier, who led UNOCI’s delegation, expressed his gratitude to the men and women of Lakota and the South Bandama region, who were headed by Ministers Lida Kouassi Moise and Zapka Komenan Roland. He then announced several projects which would benefit people in the region.


Following a request from the Prefet of the district, a 17 million FCFA project to help the reintegration of 36 members of a self-defence group called the Popular Group of the Republic (GPR) had just been approved. The project, which is part of the microprojects initiated and managed by UNOCI, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners, involved rice growing and poultry rearing, Mr. Charpentier explained.


Another project, valued at 11,004000 FCFA and involving the rehabilitation of 25 latrines and 15 showers with an annexe comprising four showers and additional latrines, which had also just been approved by UNOCI. “These projects, which will benefit people living in the Lakota district and its four sub-districts, are aimed at providing hygienic conditions for sick people and their families as well as provide the population with access to the local hospital”, said the deputy Special Representative.


Mr. Charpentier also explained that the UN Mission was committed to bringing peace, security and hope to the Ivorian people through its forums and other initiatives that promote reconciliation and social cohesion in the west of Côte d’Ivoire, in line with its mandate.


In conclusion, Mr. Charpentier expressed the hope that the forum, whose theme was “the population of Lakota and UNOCI, hand in hand”, would provide an opportunity for the Mission and local people to get to know each other better and appreciate each other better thereby writing a new page in their relationship to promote peace.


Earlier, the Mayor of Lakota, Gnabro Amelie, the President of the General Council, Gnagra Jean Claude, Ministers Lida Kouassi et Kobenan and the Secretary General of the préfecture, Yro Koulai Denis, had praised UNOCI’s efforts to promote peace and made a number of requests for Quick Impact Projects (QIPs).


UNOCI sections, including the Human Rights Division, Rule of Law, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), Political Affairs, Electoral Assistance, Civil Affairs, Public Information, UNPOL and the Military made presentations on their respective mandates and activities and responded to questions from the public.


On the eve of the forum, workshops were organised with traditional chiefs, women, youths and the media, which ended with demands for UNOCI’s support for a frank and sincere commitment to re-establishing a definitive peace in the country.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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