Posted by: africanpressorganization | 7 November 2011

Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI chief, Minister for Defence discuss the provision of security for the elections


Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI chief, Minister for Defence discuss the provision of security for the elections


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, November 7, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General for Côte d’Ivoire, Bert Koenders, met on Friday 4 November 2011 with the Minister within the Ministry of Defence, Paul Koffi Koffi, at the headquarters of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).


Their discussions focused primarily on the provision of security for the upcoming legislative elections, the reform of the army and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.


At the end of the meeting, the UNOCI Chief stressed the need to pursue cooperation between UNOCI and the Ivorian army on ways to establish a republican army within the required timelines, to achieve DDR in all its aspects and to ensure security at the legislative elections. “We are working together to provide security for the elections. There is a role for UNOCI, for the police, for our forces, to facilitate things so that everyone can vote,” said Mr. Koenders. “We also discussed the need to build the Ivorian army and we looked at that within the framework of security sector reform and the disarmament process.”


The UNOCI Chief reiterated his readiness to encourage all efforts made towards peace, within the framework of the UN mission’s mandate. “I am ready to work with the Government to see how we can move things forward in the fastest way possible because there are many challenges,” he said. “And I congratulate the Government for the many efforts it has made towards the integration of the youths, because it is important to create jobs for the young people of Côte d’Ivoire, and that is also the support we wish to provide to the extent possible, because it is everyone’s responsibility, and a priority.”


Minister Koffi Koffi said he had come to the UNOCI headquarters for an initial contact with the new Special Representative, who will be in charge of ensuring peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire, for which security is a priority objective. He said that while their discussions had focused on many subjects, he had had the opportunity to give an overview of the efforts under way to establish a new Ivorian army. The current state of the army was also discussed, according to the minister, who stated that their exchanges also focused on how to benefit from UNOCI’s support to get the army back on its feet.


On the issue of election security, Minister Koffi Koffi stated that he was scheduled to meet the generals after their meeting for them to inform him on the arrangements made to guarantee security.”It’s important for the polls to be held in good conditions, since the Special Representative has to certify these elections,” he explained.


DDR and security sector reform were also reviewed at the meeting, especially since a seminar is currently being held on these issues « We need a new defence policy that responds to today’s needs, » said Minister Koffi Koffi. “We need an army that opens onto the world, an army at the service of men, but also an army that is going to participate tomorrow in peacekeeping efforts worldwide. We need UNOCI to train these men.”



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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