Posted by: africanpressorganization | 31 March 2010

Côte d’Ivoire / UN mission to assess electoral process, UNOCI chief announces





Côte d’Ivoire / UN mission to assess electoral process, UNOCI chief announces



ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 31, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Y. J. Choi, announced in Abidjan on Friday that an assessment team from the Security Council will arrive next month in Abidjan.


“The Security Council, through the UN Secretariat, will send the team to examine all the problems linked to the delays and ensure that all conditions are met for helping Ivorians to go to elections”, Mr. Choi explained on ONUCI FM during the “L’Invité de la semaine” [Guest of the week] programme, aired on Saturday by the UN radio station.


The UNOCI chief outlined the electoral process, its certification mandate as well as the international community’s accompaniment to help Côte d’Ivoire resolve the crisis.


With regard to the electoral process, the Special Representative insisted on the resumption as soon as possible, of the appeals process to examine both lists and quickly produce the definitive electoral list.


Mr. Choi also referred to the appeals process regarding the provisional electoral list. “The lists can be examined”, he said. However, he added, proofs must be provided, according to the modus operandi which was decided.


UNOCI implicitly certified the provisional list, taking into account population identification and voter registration. “I am convinced that the definitive list will be consensual because the appeals process will bring everyone on board,” he said.


With regard to the certification mandate, Mr. Choi clarified his role. “Before, the High Representative used to have the role of arbitration and certification, which was divided into two parts. Today, with the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, arbitration has been entrusted to the Facilitator, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, and I have the role of certifier”, he explained.


In this regard, he said that as UNOCI chief, he was obliged to show impartiality during the affair of the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). “One camp wanted the Chairman to be kept whereas another was asking for his dismissal. I could not take position publicly. I therefore acted in accordance with my mandate by trying to rally the positions through diplomatic approaches,” he stressed.


So Mr. Choi recalled the role of UNOCI, whose mission, he said, is to safeguard the electoral process and the results of the elections. In this regard, he stated clearly that UNOCI had the means to do so. “The person who is elected will be the elected one,” he said.


He deplored the numerous delays in the process, which, he said, creates frustrations. “In November 2009, we could almost feel the elections, which were at hand for 2010, but it should not discourage us, we must rather find a solution to this impasse”, he said. The Special Representative believes that much energy and determination is needed to resume the electoral dynamics, which was weakened by the election-reunification dilemma. He reiterated the international community’s will and determination to support Côte d’Ivoire to resolve the crisis in peace and stability.


When he was asked whether it was possible to organize elections whereas reunification was not effective, UNOCI chief answered that the fourth additional protocol to the Ouagadougou Political Agreement planned to implement reunification two months before the holding of elections. In this regard, Mr. Choi enumerated the four parts of reunification, namely unifying the coffers of the State, extending the State’s authority to the Centre North and West (CNO), classifying all of the elements of the Forces Nouvelles, namely soldiers, gendarmes, policemen and ex-combatants, regrouping and reintegrating them into society, and providing a salary to all.


Clarifying the issue of disarmament, the UNOCI chief explained that the OPA provided for the cantonment of ex-combatants in four camps and the stocking of arms under the surveillance of the Integrated Command Centre with the assistance of the impartial Forces. “The disarmament in question is not usual, it is a nearly unique concept adapted to the Ivorian crisis”, he noted.


Finally, the Special Representative called on the Ivorian people to remain hopeful. “Ivoirians should not lose confidence; there is a very refined political culture in this country”, he said. Establishing a comparison with the other peacekeeping missions, Mr. Choi said that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire was quite better. “There are delays and frustrations, but there are also positive aspects that must be kept in mind; the resolution of the crisis is no longer far away,” he concluded.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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