Côte d'Ivoire continues its arms collection operations

Côte d'Ivoire continues its arms collection operations
Published: 05 January 2012 (646 Views)
Summary of UNOCI weekly press conference

Some 120 youths handed in their weapons to UNOCI on 30 December 2011 during a voluntary arms collection operation at the Youth Centre in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Attécoubé, the deputy spokesman for the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Kenneth Blackman, announced in Abidjan on Thursday, 5 January 2012.

Speaking during the Mission's weekly press conference, Mr. Blackman said that operation had been co-ordinated by UNOCI. "We secured and stocked the weapons which were handed in," said the deputy spokesman.

Turning to a different subject, Mr. Blackman told journalists that the Mission had resumed its sensitisation activities to promote peace and social cohesion at the beginning of the year 2012. In this regard, he said, five sessions of ONUCI Tour – the Mission's sensitisation campaign to promote a peaceful post-electoral environment – will be held between 7 and 12 January in the departments of Duékoué, Séguéla, Bondoukou and Bangolo.

He also said that two seminars will be held on 9 and 10 January in Tabou and Vavoua. "These are sensitization workshops to promote peace and social cohesion aimed at community chiefs and opinion leaders," Mr. Blackman explained. For their part, representatives of women in Biabo, in the Vallée du Bandama region, will participate in a forum organised by UNOCI on the contribution of women of Diabo in the reconciliation process.

UNOCI will also take part in cultural and sports activities organised by its partners in Bouaké and Zanzan region. "This will give us an opportunity to promote the values of peace on the ground," he said.

With regard to social and humanitarian action to benefit the population, Mr. Blackman said that a local school in Samatiguila, which has been rehabilitated by the Mission, will be handed over to education authorities next week. "The handover ceremony will be held together with a school caravan which will give the pupils an opportunity to learn more about UNOCI, the culture of peace and human rights," explained the deputy spokesman.

Concerning the operational and humanitarian activities of UNOCI's Military Force, Mr. Blackman said that peacekeepers had provided free medical care for 883 patients and distributed 35, 000 litres of potable water to local people during the past week. Regarding its operational activities, the Force carried out 1,577 ground and air patrols during the same week, said the deputy spokesman. It also continued its mixed patrols with elements of the Forces républicaines de Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI) in the west, especially on the border with Liberia.

Mr. Blackman also told journalists that the 300 peacekeepers sent by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to support their UNOCI colleagues in providing security for the legislative elections in Côte d'Ivoire, returned to Liberia on 28 and 29 December 2011.

- APO

Tags: UNOCI, Côte, d'Ivoire,
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