Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) - A ceremony was held on Thursday in Abidjan to pay tribute to the seven UN peacekeepers from Niger who recently lost their lives in an ambush in western Côte d'Ivoire.
The ceremony was attended by the Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara, the deputy Secretary General of UN peacekeeping operations, Hervé Ladsous, and Niger's minister of Higher Education, Mamadou Youba Diallo.
"We shall know what happened and we do hope that the culprits will be arrested and that justice will be done," Mr. Ladsous declared in a message of condolence from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
Niger's minister expressed his country's determination to continue its support to the United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI).
President Ouattara expressed the Ivorian people's compassion to Niger and bereaved families saying his government would take all the necessary measures to end the activities of the perpetrators and instigators of these attacks.
He commended the Blue helmets' commitment to their "noble cause" in Côte d’Ivoire.
"Thanks to you. Côte d’Ivoire has succeeded in preserving its stability, safeguarding peace and returning to normalcy. The Ivorian nation will always be grateful to you," President Ouattara affirmed.
The bodies of the fallen soldiers are to be flown back home.
-0- PANA BAL/AAS/PAP/MA 14June2012