Following Ivorian rocket attack, UN envoy meets key regional peace player

Following Ivorian rocket attack, UN envoy meets key regional peace player

The head of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Côte d’Ivoire has met with a key regional figure to discuss the state of the peace process in the divided West African country in the wake of last week’s deadly rocket attack on a plane carrying Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.

Abou Moussa, the Officer-in-Charge of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), held talks yesterday with Blaise Compaoré, the President of neighbouring Burkina Faso and the facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, Mission spokesman Hamadoun Touré announced.

The consultations, which took place in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, were convened to help ensure that the peace process does not go off track and the Ouagadougou accord – reached in March – is fully implemented.

UNOCI has already endorsed Mr. Soro’s call for an independent international inquiry into last Friday’s attack by unidentified men at Bouaké airport, which killed four people and injured several others as Mr. Soro’s plane was landing.

The Ouagadougou agreement, signed by Mr. Soro and Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, is an attempt 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 pact 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.