UN human rights expert on toxic waste holds talks in Côte d’Ivoire

4 August 2008

A United Nations human rights expert has held talks in Côte d’Ivoire with senior officials from the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country at the start of a week-long visit to investigate the illegal movement and dumping of toxic wastes.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes, met this morning with Y. J. Choi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission (known in English as UNOCI).

Mr. Ibeanu also met with Abou Moussa, the Principal Deputy Special Representative, to discuss measures undertaken by the UN country team to manage the toxic waste situation, according to a press release issued in Abidjan today.

In August 2006 hundreds of tons of highly toxic waste were dumped at sites around Abidjan after the Probo Koala ship unloaded, killing several people and causing thousands of others to seek medical assistance, complaining of nausea and vomiting after inhaling fumes.

Mr. Ibeanu is slated to meet with Ivorian authorities, community figures and other people affected by the 2006 dumping to give him a broader picture of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

Special rapporteurs serve in an unpaid capacity and report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.


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