Côte d’Ivoire forces "fully ready to take over" from UN peacekeepers

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UNOCI peacekeepers in western Côte d'Ivoire. Photo: IRIN/Anna Jefferys

Security forces in Côte d’Ivoire are "fully ready to take over" when the UN completes the peacekeeping phase of its engagement with the country, the Secretary-General's Special Representative has said.

Aïchatou Mindaoudou made the remarks ahead of the closing of UNOCI, the UN Operation in the West African nation, on Friday.

UNOCI, which started in 2004 when the country was divided in half by a civil war, successfully restored peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General issued a statement commending the people of Côte d’Ivoire "for their determination and efforts in turning the page of crisis and conflict."

He also expressed "profound respect" for the 150 peacekeepers or so-called "blue helmets" who lost their life in the service of peace during the 13 years of deployment of the Mission.

Ms Mindaoudou, who heads the UN operation in the country, explained to Cristina Silveiro, the steps taken to ensure the hard-won gains are not lost.

Duration: 2'35''

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