ONUCI condemns attacks on its offices, staff and patrols

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) – The UN Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) on Saturday strongly condemned attacks on its staff, offices and patrols by forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, describing them as war crimes.

“The instigators of those acts will be punished," ONUCI said and reaffirmed its "strong will to complete its term for the Ivorian people whatever the intimidation manœuvres and obstructions it will face in its peacekeeping mission".

ONUCI said in a statement that forces loyal to Gbagbo, who the international community says lost the controversial election in November last year, have since last Thursday been firing directly on its headquarters.

The statement said the office of the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Cote d'Ivoire, Young-Jin Choi, had been targeted by gunfire.

A bullet went through the ceiling of the editorial room of ONUCI radio.

Gbagbo's forces have accused ONUCI of backing forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the man recognised by the international community as winner of the November 2010 poll.
Ouattara's Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) entered Abidjan last Thursday and have been engaged in bitter fighting for the control of strategic locations in the city.

UN peacekeepers have been subjected to four attacks in 24 hours by Laurent Gbagbo’s special forces.

Three UN peacekeepers were slightly injured during the attacks which took place on the outskirts of Plateau in Abidjan.

A UN helicopter has also been the target of gunfire as it was landing.
-0- PANA BAL/JSG/MSA/MA 2April2011

02 april 2011 11:54:45

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