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Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission endorses call for inquiry into rocket attack

Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission endorses call for inquiry into rocket attack

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire has announced its support for any international inquiry into last week’s deadly rocket attack on a plane carrying the country’s Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro.

Abou Moussa, the Officer-in-Charge of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), issued a statement on Tuesday backing Mr. Soro’s earlier call for a probe into the attack, the Mission said in a press release.

Mr. Moussa said the country’s Justice Minister has already prepared the terms of reference for an international investigation and would soon send the information to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Four people were killed and several others injured when unidentified attackers fired rockets at the plane transporting Mr. Soro as it landed at the airport in Bouaké, situated in the north of the divided West African country.

Mr. Moussa had earlier headed an international delegation – which included representatives of France, the United States, Germany, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – that offered condolences to Mr. Soro and the families of the four victims.

The delegation stressed that the international community remains committed to the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, an accord signed in March by Mr. Soro and President Laurent Gbagbo to try to heal the divide in Côte d’Ivoire, which has been split between the Government-controlled south and the rebel Forces Nouvelles-held north since 2002.

The Ouagadougou agreement calls, among other steps, for: creating a new transitional Government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; merging the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; dismantling the militias, disarming ex-combatants and enrolling them in civil services programmes; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.