UN: UN Security Council reduces UN peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire

New York, US (PANA) - Reflecting the considerable and continued progress in consolidating
peace and stability in Cote d’Ivoire, the UN Security Council on Wednesday cut a further
1,500 troops from the UN peacekeeping Mission, which played a major role in halting
violence in the country after disputed elections in 2010.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body decreased the authorized
ceiling of the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) from 5,437 to 4,000 military personnel
by 31 March.

UNOCI, set up in 2004 to facilitate implementation of a peace agreement after the West
African country was torn apart by civil war, with an authorized ceiling of 6,240 uniformed
personnel, helped restore legitimacy and stability in 2011, along with French forces, after
incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat in the 2010 elections
to Alassane Ouattara.

At its height, the Mission maintained some 7,000 uniformed personnel on the ground,
mandated to help protect civilians and support the efforts of the Ivorian authorities to
address the root causes of the conflict and establish lasting peace, including security
sector reform, and the disarmament and reintegration of armed factions.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative,
UNOCI head, Ms. Aichatou Mindaoudou, told the Security Council that the October
2015 election of President Ouattara to a second term provided the country’s citizens
with the opportunity to start a new chapter in their nation’s history and consolidate
achievements towards long-term stability.

During the UN General Assembly General Debate in October in New York, Cote d’Ivoire’s
Permanent Representative, Claude Bouah-Kamon, praised the UN for its "irreplaceable"
contribution to advancing peace, security and development over the 70 years of its

He stated: "I wish to here reiterate the gratitude of the Ivorian people for the invaluable
role the United Nations played and continues to play at our sides."
-0-   PANA  AA/AR  20Jan2016

20 january 2016 18:45:07

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