UN: UN official lauds Ivorian authorities on progress against sexual violence

New York, US (PANA) - Concluding a three-day visit to Cote d’Ivoire, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs. Zainab Bangura has welcomed
progress made so far by the Ivorian government, and in particular by the national
armed forces, in addressing sexual violence crimes in the country.

"I have been able to interact with the national authorities and Forces Republicaines
de Cote d’Ivoire (FRCI) leadership, and see for myself the practical and operational
steps being taken to prevent and respond to sexual violence crimes," Mrs. Bangura
said on Tuesday in a statement issued in New York.

"We have been able to identify remaining challenges in the implementation of
the FRCI Action Plan to combat conflict-related sexual violence and discussed
the way forward towards the delisting of the FRCI from the annex of the annual
report of the UN Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence." she

She noted that the FRCI was included in the annex of the annual report of the
UN Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence in 2012 as a party
credibly suspected of being responsible for committing rape and other sexual
violence crimes during the post-electoral crisis in 2010-2011.

As part of her official visit, Mrs. Bangura met with senior Government and UN
officials to discuss the progress being made in Cote d’Ivoire to address sexual
violence crimes committed during the post-electoral crisis and beyond.

The UN official also met with Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, the Minister
of State on Interior and Security, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals,
Minister on the Promotion of Women, Family and Children Affairs, the Chief
of Staff at the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and Victims Compensation,
the Chief of Army Staff, Head of the Gendarmerie, the leadership of the UN’s
Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN country team.

At the meetings with the national authorities and military leadership, Mrs.
Bangura noted the progress made, including the development and
implementation of the FRCI Action Plan, training and sensitization of FRCI
soldiers, signing of undertakings by senior commanders of the FRCI, and
the review of the code of conduct of the FRCI.

She stated: "It is important that such positive steps are shared with countries
facing similar challenges."

"Later this year my office will convene a meeting in Cote d’Ivoire, which will
bring together African national armies from countries where we work,
namely, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan to facilitate an exchange of
good practices in addressing conflict-related sexual violence."

She also discussed remaining challenges faced by Cote d’Ivoire, including
the need for legal reform to harmonize national laws with international
standards, prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence crimes
committed during the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011, the provision of
reparations to victims, and the improvement of multi-sectoral services to

"The political and military authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have confirmed my
long-held view that when national authorities demonstrate leadership and
responsibility, they create an environment in which sexual violence crimes
can be prevented and addressed," Mrs. Bangura noted.

"Through the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in
Conflict, will build on this progress and support the government in
addressing the remaining challenges of justice and accountability," she
-0-  PANA  AA  31May2016

31 may 2016 21:55:19

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