2 July 2013 The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire today strongly condemned an attack on a disarmament convoy carrying its national authority head, and urged that those responsible be brought to justice.
The UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) “calls on the competent Ivorian authorities to take all measures to identify the authors of the attack and bring them before the law,” according to a statement from Abidjan.
A convoy of the national Authority for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) was attacked on 1 July on a stretch of road between the towns of Ferkessedougou in the north and Kong in the northwest.
UNOCI said at least one person was killed and there are media reports of three other people wounded.
“The Mission regrets the death of a gendarme who was part of the security escort and expresses it sympathy to the bereaved family,” UNOCI said in a statement. “It wishes a quick recovery to those injured.”
Fidele Sarassoro, ADDR Director-General, was in the convoy but does not appear to have been hurt in the attack.
In its statement, the Mission supported the DDR activities in the country saying that their progress is “indispensable” to the restoration of state authority and the return to normalcy in the West African country split by civil war in 2002.
“UNOCI calls on all parties concerned to remain calm and undertake no action that could hamper the smooth functioning of the DDR process,” the Mission said.
It added that it welcomes progress made so far and stands by the Ivorian Government in its quest to consolidate peace.
UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process between the rebel-held north and Government-controlled south following the 2002 civil war.
In the aftermath of the post-election violence that followed the 2010 presidential polls, the peacekeeping mission assisted with a number of key tasks, including the restoration of law and order, national reconciliation, the holding of legislative elections and economic recovery.
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