The new United Nations envoy to Côte d’Ivoire and the country’s president have held their first talks on the peace process healing the divide between rebel-held north and government-controlled south.
“We discussed the peace process and the elections,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, Y.J. Choi, following his meeting with Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo at the Presidential Palace on Thursday.
Elections are planned for 2008 in Côte d’Ivoire under a peace accord signed by leaders of the Government and rebel Forces Nouvelles in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Mr. Choi, who arrived in Côte d’Ivoire earlier this week, later discussed the same issues with the President of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, Henri Konan Bédié, at the latter’s residence, according to the UN Mission in the country (UNOCI).
In another development, UNOCI’s Abidjan-based Jordanian battalion recently organized a medical day in Marcory town hall, where five doctors, a dentist and six nurses provided health care to more than 500 patients, about 300 of whom received free medication to the value of several million CFA francs.
Speaking at the 20 November event, Jordanian Contingent Commander Colonel Mohammad Mahasneh explained that the humanitarian operation was within the framework of the “directives of the Jordanian command and the support of UNOCI, which encourages actions aimed at alleviating the suffering of the neediest populations.”