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Senior UN peacekeeping official assesses operation in Côte d’Ivoire

Senior UN peacekeeping official assesses operation in Côte d’Ivoire

Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Senior United Nations peacekeeping aide Edmond Mulet is in Côte d’Ivoire to meet with a range of Government officials and discuss the work of the world body’s operation there, known as UNOCI, whose current mandate expires at the end of next month.

Mr. Mulet, who is Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, met in the capital, Yamoussoukro, with President Laurent Gbagbo.

He also expects to meet with Alassane Ouattara and Henri Konan Bédié, among other leaders, as part of his technical evaluation mission.

Among its tasks, UNOCI is assisting the West African country with preparations for upcoming elections, which were to have been held on 30 November but were recently delayed again for the third time since the signing of the north-south peace pact last year.

The Ouagadougou Agreement – signed in neighbouring Burkina Faso 18 months ago between the Government, which controlled the south, and the rebel Forces Nouvelles, which held the north – called for a number of measures to resolve the crisis that first divided the country in 2002.

They included creating a new transitional government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; merging the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces; dismantling the militias and disarming ex-combatants; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.

Meanwhile, UNOCI brought smiles to the faces of nearly 265 orphans and vulnerable children with a Christmas event held a few days ago in the city of Bouaké.

The event, involving food, dances, skits and educational games, sought to raise awareness of efforts to fight HIV and AIDS and was attended by community representatives and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners working on the issue.

The programme was organized by the mission’s HIV/AIDS Unit and the Division of Public Information, and supported by the NGO Health Renaissance Bouaké.