The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire has sent two patrol units to the country’s border with Liberia to assess the situation after a group of heavily armed militiamen crossed the frontier and attacked two Ivorian villages last week, killing at least 18 people.
According to the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the victims of the night attack last Wednesday included an Ivorian soldier. Many other civilians were wounded in the raid.
Angry villagers torched several homes after the attack, causing the localized displacement of people who moved towards the town of Tai, the spokesperson for the Secretary-General said in an update to reporters in New York.
He said UNOCI will continue to monitor the situation along the volatile and heavily forested border between Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in coordination with Ivorian security forces.
The peacekeeping force is also in the process of reinforcing its military presence in western Côte d’Ivoire and has stepped up coordination with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
UNMIL, which has also strengthened its presence in the volatile border area, is conducting patrols intended to gather further information on the situation on the ground. The patrols are being coordinated with Liberian security forces and UNOCI, and are also aimed at identifying attackers, their motives and their bases.