UN withdrawal from Côte d’Ivoire "imminent"

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UNOCI peacekeepers in western Côte d'Ivoire. Photo:UN

The departure of the UN operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is "imminent", the Special Representative for the Secretary-General in the country has said.

Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou made the announcement on Wednesday during her briefing to members of the Security Council.

The Mission's withdrawal after 14 years is a sign that the people of the West African nation are committed to a future of peace and shared prosperity, she said.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The UN's intervention in Côte d’Ivoire through the peacekeeping mission could represent a "real success story" if peacebuilding efforts continue with the help of the country's global partners. 

UN Special Envoy Aïchatou Mindaoudou made the appeal to Council members as she provided an update on major developments in the country. 

A political and security crisis led to the deployment of UNOCI [UN peacekeeping] forces in April 2004. Violence rocked the country once again after a disputed 2011 election. 

Meanwhile, a withdrawal plan was endorsed by the UN Security Council following a successful outcome of the Presidential elections on 25 October 2015. 

With a new constitution and inclusive legislature in place, Ms Mindaoudou said Côte d’Ivoire was "definitely" headed towards sustainable peace and security. 

Reported human rights violations have also been on a downward trend, but she urged the Government to prioritize the reform of the military, gendarmerie, police and reintegration of former combatants. 

She concluded by praising the bravery of UNOCI forces and confirmed their departure for June. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’12”

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