Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission reports progress in identification process

Côte d’Ivoire: UN mission reports progress in identification process

Almost half a million Ivorians have received new birth certificates, the first step in a process to enable them to vote in national general elections scheduled for later this year, the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) reported today.

Electoral officials with UNOCI said “good progress” has been made in formally identifying the population in Côte d’Ivoire since a round of UN-facilitated public hearings began across the country, which became divided in 2002 between the Government-controlled south and the rebel-held north.

So far, some 7,400 public hearings or “audiences foraines” have been held in 11 provinces, and about 480,000 applicants have received new birth certificates.

These certificates will allow the recipients to formally seek recognition of their right to citizenship, which in term should allow them to cast their ballots during the elections.

The right to citizenship – or the denial of this right to some people – has been one of the root causes of the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire.

UNOCI has been helping to boost public interest in the process by broadcasting detailed daily reports on the identification hearings on its radio station.