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Côte d’Ivoire: UN envoy takes part in talks on implementing political accord

Côte d’Ivoire: UN envoy takes part in talks on implementing political accord

The senior United Nations envoy in Côte d’Ivoire has taken part in a fresh round of talks on how to ensure the successful implementation of the political agreement reached earlier this year among the leaders of the divided West African country.

Abou Moussa, the Officer-in-Charge of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), participated yesterday in the second meeting of the evaluation and monitoring committee of the Ouagadougou Political Accord, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

The accord, reached in March in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, is an attempt to heal the divide in Côte d’Ivoire, which has been split between the Government-controlled south and the 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 “zone of confidence” separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.

Yesterday’s meeting, also in Ouagadougou, was attended by the Ivorian signatories to the agreement, President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, who is also head of the Forces Nouvelles.

The meeting focused on several issues, including the deployment and security of district commissioners, the military ranks of Forces Nouvelles officers and the security of Mr. Soro. In June, at least four people were killed when unidentified attackers fired a rocket on a plane carrying Mr. Soro as it landed at the airport in Bouaké, situated in the north of Côte d’Ivoire.