Côte d’Ivoire: UN peacekeeping chief discusses security situation with premier

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous (right) with head of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire Bert Koenders. Photo: UNOCI

16 April 2012 – The head of United Nations peacekeeping met today with the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire during a visit to the West African country aimed at familiarizing himself with the remaining security requirements a year after the end of the post-election violence.

“I came to discuss with the Prime Minister the main problems…[and how] the United Nations can help in this process which has been going on for the past one year since the serious post-electoral crisis of winter 2010-2011,” said Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, after his meeting with Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio in Abidjan.

He said it was up to the Ivorian people to ensure the success of the disarmament and demobilisation programme, as well as the country’s security sector reform, and assured them that the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) will continue supporting the national reconciliation process.

“UNOCI is working in an innovative way with the UN Mission in Liberia [UNMIL] and the security forces of both countries to improve the security situation along the porous border in order to better control movement across it,” said Mr. Ladsous.

He also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Kablan Duncan, and had working sessions with UNOCI’s civilian and military personnel. He is also scheduled to meet with civil society representatives.

Mr. Ladsous visited neighbouring Liberia last week, at which time he re-affirmed the UN’s support for efforts to help bring stability to the country, regardless of any possible reconfiguration of the peacekeeping force currently serving there.

“We remain more than ever at your side during this period,” Mr. Ladsous said at a meeting with Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. “We do not want to risk jeopardizing the results of these years of effort, but we want to continue making this mission here a success story.”

UNMIL has been in Liberia since 2003, when it was deployed to bolster a ceasefire agreement ending a decade of war that killed nearly 150,000 people, mostly civilians. Its mandate includes helping to restore the rule of law and democratic processes as well as facilitating humanitarian assistance.

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