Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 June 2010

Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI commemorates 2nd anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1820 in Toumodi





Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI commemorates 2nd anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1820 in Toumodi


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, June 22, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) celebrated the second anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1820 on 19 June in Toumodi, 200 km north of Abidjan under the theme: “Sexual violence constitutes a threat to international security. Together we say no to perpetrators of sexual violence.”


The event was organized by UNOCI’s Gender Unit led by its acting chief, Eva Dalak, who explained that UNOCI and its national partners, as well as other UN agencies had chosen the town of Toumodi for the anniversary celebration because the women of the town had demonstrated their commitment to fight against sexual violence of which they had been victim, by organizing a protest march that mobilized some one thousand participants in December 2009. The demonstration followed the death of 13 women who had been victims of sexual violence which went unpunished for two and a half years.


Mrs. Dalak said similar celebrations had been organised by UNOCI and its partners in Bouaké and Danané, and were preceeded on 18 June by a roundtable conference which brought together other actors involved in the fight against gender-based violence. “The return of peace to Côte d’Ivoire can only be effective if the rights of women are taken into account. Unfortunately, it is in conflict and post-conflict periods that one observes an increase in gender-based violence and that is why it is important to popularize as much as possible the terms of Resolution 1820,” she explained. She reminded the people that Resolution 1820 stressed that sexual violence is a threat to international security, the return of lasting peace and proposed measures likely to improve the protection of women and girls in times of conflict and after conflict. “All of us, women and men, must fight against the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of gender-based violence and in particular sexual violence in order to build a solid base for a lasting peace in Côte d’Ivoire,” she concluded.


After welcoming participants, the Mayor of Toumodi, Simon Tchina, noted that the active participation of the local administrative and law enforcement authorities and representatives of the judiciary, alongside the women of Toumodi, demonstrated their interest in improving the condition of women. “I thank UNOCI for this initiative which permits us together to reflect on the situation of women and our future and to see what can be done to make equality between men and women a reality in Toumodi particular and Côte d’Ivoire in general,” the Mayor suggested.


Marie –Angele Diop, a member of the Organization of Active Women in Côte d’Ivoire, called on the women of Toumodi to be better informed of their rights in order to carry out the fight against violence of which they are victims. “Rather than defending ourselves by the use of force, let us use the law to defend ourselves against impunity,” she said.


The regional director of the Ministry of Family, Women and Social Affairs, Ladji Touré, said sexual violence constitutes a weapon of war while the Secretary-General of the Prefecture of Toumodi division, Yaya Touré, called on UNOCI and other actors to intensify the sensitization campaign against this evil.


Measures taken by the panelists to implement Resolution 1820 of the UN Security Council in Toumodi were announced to the audience. These include: increasing patrols by the local gendarmerie, setting up a monitoring committee to report cases of sexual violence, training of law and order personnel on the prevention and handling of victims of sexual violence by UNOCI’s Gender Unit and the setting up of a supervisory committee to ensure the measures are implemented.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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