Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 April 2010

Côte d’Ivoire / UN assessment mission expected on 12 April in Abidjan, UNOCI announces





Côte d’Ivoire / UN assessment mission expected on 12 April in Abidjan, UNOCI announces


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, April 9, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A multidisciplinary UN assessment mission will visit Côte d’Ivoire from 12 to 22 April, the spokesman of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Hamadoun Touré, announced on Thursday in Abidjan.


Speaking at the mission’s weekly press conference, Mr. Touré explained the framework for the visit. “At each crucial moment of the Ivorian process, the United Nations sends a mission to assess the situation,” he said. “That is the case now, because, technically, we are not far from the elections.”


Defining the mission’s objective, he said it was coming to conduct an in-depth examination of the peace process and propose the role which ONUCI can continue to play to better help Côte d’Ivoire to emerge as quickly as possible from the crisis.


While in Côte d’Ivoire, the spokesman added, the head of the mission and his delegation, which will number about 20, will hold discussions with the actors involved in the search for solutions to the Ivorian crisis. These are mainly the leaders of political parties, the highest state authorities, the institutions in charge of the electoral process, the military chiefs and members of civil society.


The delegation will also exchange views with the Facilitator of the Inter-Ivorian dialogue, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, Mr. Touré said. He also announced that the mission would travel around the country, visiting various hinterland towns so as to have a first-hand look at the realities on the ground.


According to the UNOCI Spokesman, the last UN assessment mission in Côte d’Ivoire was in December 2008.


With regard to UNOCI’s assistance to the electoral process, he announced that the Electoral Assistance Division was conducting, at that very moment, a satellite mapping of polling stations that are difficult to reach. “This work is being done with a view to preparing a map which UNOCI will hand over to the IEC when the time comes, » he explained.


Pursuant to its mandate and according to its resources, UNOCI provides human, logistical and material support to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).



Asked about UNOCI’s position on the question of an audit of the provisional voters’ list, Mr. Touré stated that the mission would first wish to know the content, meaning and scope of the audit. On this issue, he reaffirmed the statement of the Special Representative, who had said that the so-called white and grey lists were neither untouchable nor infallible. “They can be subject to appeal,” said Mr. Touré, adding that in both cases, evidence needed to be provided.


In the first case, the Spokesman explained, the appellant had to prove that the persons whose removal from the list was being sought did not fulfil the conditions for being on the white list. Similarly, in the case of the grey list, it had to be proven that the persons whose inclusion was being requested fulfilled the conditions for inclusion on the white list and, therefore, the provisional voters’ list which, itself, once processed would become the final voters’ list.


The spokesman said that it was for all these reasons that UNOCI was calling for the resumption of the appeals process, using the modus operandi accepted by all. He felt that the resumption of the appeals would provide answers to all questions that are being asked at this moment. In this regard, he highlighted the various initiatives conducted by UNOCI to contribute to the resumption through its meetings with the various authorities in charge of the elections and the multifaceted support the mission has been giving the IEC.


He also shed some light on implicit and explicit certification, explaining that, pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions and according to the certification criteria, the Special Representative has a mandate to certify explicitly the final voters’ list and the election results. Implicit certification targeted the mobile court hearings, the identification and voter registration operation, and the provisional voters’ list.


Earlier, Mr. Touré mentioned UNOCI’s initiatives aimed at establishing a peaceful electoral environment. In this regard, he said UNOCI was going to pursue the organization of a series of activities throughout the country.


Thus, in Ferkessedougou, the mission will organise, on 12 April 2010, a workshop on social cohesion for a peaceful electoral atmosphere, which was one of the recommendations of a forum UNOCI held in 2009 with the population of that town.


In Yamoussoukro, a « Football for Peace » Tournament is to be held on 10 April, within the framework of UNOCI’s support for the peace process through sport.


In Korhogo, a seminar with civil society is to be held on 15-16 April 2010. This is one of a series of seminars that UNOCI has been organizing this year with a view to equipping civil society representatives to relay messages in favour of a peaceful electoral environment in their respective organizations and communities.


On a disciplinary note, Mr. Touré stated that UNOCI would continue to take very tough measures against any of its staff who do not observe the basic traffic rules when driving the mission’s vehicles.


According to the Spokesman, it has been noted for some time now that there is an increase in cases of bad driving by some UNOCI officials, sometimes causing accidents that could have been avoided with a little more attention. These measures, Mr. Touré said, respond to the need for strict respect of UN norms in this area.


“Our mandate, it should be recalled, is to help and protect Ivorians, and not to create additional difficulties for populations who are already suffering from the crisis,” he said.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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