The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire has postponed the start of militia disarmament in response to factional leaders who said they needed more time to raise awareness among their followers about the scheduled process whose starting deadline was to have been yesterday.
Responding to a request by Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a stronger United Nations presence in Côte d’Ivoire, the Security Council today added 1,500 more uniformed personnel to the world body’s peacekeeping operation in the divided West African country.
Côte d’Ivoire’s rival armed factions have taken an encouraging first step towards disarmament by starting to assemble their fighters, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative to the divided West African country has said in Abidjan.
Côte d’Ivoire is at a turning point, with positive political developments in the divided West African country that have opened up space for peace to blossom, while an “underground crisis” of deepening poverty may threaten hard-won stability, a senior United Nations official said today.
The United Nations Security Council today welcomed pilot public hearings in Côte d’Ivoire to establish the nationality of individuals and talks between government and rebel military leaders on starting the disarmament process.
The United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) is closely watching that country’s preparations for the upcoming national elections, which are considered vital for the success of the UN-led peace efforts, officials with the world body have said.
United Nations peacekeepers and their counterparts from a French force in Côte d'Ivoire have discovered the bodies of five people slain in violence that prompted others to flee the area, located by the zone separating the Government-controlled south from the rebel-held north.
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said today that it had re-established a presence in western Côte d'Ivoire following January's violent destruction of the premises of several humanitarian organizations in the town of Guiglo, which led to the departure of most humanitarian staff and UN peacekeepers.
After meeting today with the Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny of Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Security Council noted the progress achieved in the country's peace process under his watch, but expressed grave concern at what it called serious delays in the demobilization of combatants and preparations for upcoming elections.