RAPAPORT… The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) expressed deep concerns for the nation’s citizens, following numerous human rights violations by some members of the armed forces, also known as FRCI. These men stand accused of carrying out rapes, acts of torture, armed robberies and other abuses in several locations in recent weeks, according to Kenneth Blackman, a spokesperson for the mission. Joint patrols involving UNOCI and the FRCI have also been stepped up after recent clashes in Sikensi, Vavoua and Abidjan.
Blackman told journalists in Abidjan that the government was taking additional steps to improve security and discipline within FRCI. A military police unit has also been set up and a fund has been created to buy back weapons, establish a reserve corps and renovate barracks and military camps.
He stressed that UNOCI will help authorities contribute to greater social cohesion and national reconciliation in the wake of the protracted crisis early this year that followed the then incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to step down as president after he lost a run-off election to Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo faces trial at The Hague for his actions. UNOCI is assisting the new Ouattara-government in a disarmament drive.