A United Nations mission assessing the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire held meetings today with representatives of civil society organizations, women's groups, human rights experts and the diplomatic corps in Abidjan.
The mission, which was requested by Secretary-General Annan and is led by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, will also meet with President Laurent Gbagbo, according to a UN spokesman.
Since its arrival in Abidjan at the beginning of the week, the mission has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the acting Minister of Human Rights and the Minister of Commerce, as well as UN country teams and human rights organizations. Yesterday, the mission met with the Ministers of Interior and Defence and with human rights organizations.
This weekend, the mission plans to visit Yamoussoukro and the west of the country. Later on Saturday, the team is scheduled to travel to the north for meetings the next day with leaders of political parties it has not yet been able to meet.
“The mission will thus have met with a full cross-section, ranging from government, political leaders, human rights organizations, women’s organizations, rebel leaders and the diplomatic community,” Mr. Ramcharan said.
The mission includes a forensic expert, and plans to visit sites of mass graves if possible. It will return to Geneva on Monday.