Monday, April 05, 2004

Cote d'Ivoire: UN troops take over

UN peacekeepers officially took over yesterday ... but the ceremony was delayed until today because Prime Minister Seydou Diarra was away.
The changeover began with the transfer to UN command of 1,300 west African troops, who .... [have] been in Ivory Coast since early 2003, under the command of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Nearly 5,000 more UN soldiers are due to deploy in Ivory Coast between now and July, most of them from Bangladesh, Morocco, Pakistan and Ukraine ...

... The UN troops will operate alongside 4,000 French soldiers, who are in the country on the authorisation of the UN but who will remain a separate military force from the UNOCI.

... The [French] soldiers' current role is to serve as a rapid intervention force for the UN peacekeepers.
Check this out ...
In the same resolution [authorizing peacekeepers], the Council separately authorized the French forces to use "all necessary means" in order to support UNOCI, particularly in the area of providing security.
You can read Resolution 1528 for yourself.

UNOCI = UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire

I missed this story from a few days back ... the UN announced it will be investigating what happened during the opposition demonstration two weeks back ... and determine who and how many were killed. (Short posts on the demonstration here and here.)