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Peacekeeping Chiefs Condemn Côte D'ivoire Killings

UN Peacekeeping Chiefs Condemn Killings in Western Côte D'ivoire

New York, Jun 8 2005 6:00PM

Senior United Nations peacekeeping officials today condemned the wave of killings and other abuses against civilians near a major cocoa marketing town in western Côte d'Ivoire and visited the area to assess how to tighten security and restore calm, a UN spokesman said.

"The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Pierre Schori, and the Force Commander, General Abdoulaye Fall, travelled to Duékoué today to assess the situation and see how best the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) can help restore peace to the area," Stephane Dujarric said.

UNOCI reported last week that unidentified attackers, armed with machetes, killed or wounded more than 100 people in the area, dealing a blow to the reconciliation attempts of the past month.

Mr. Schori today condemned the murders and other abuses and urged all parties to avoid acts that could aggravate the situation.
After the attacks, the UN mission said it reinforced its troops with mobile patrols and stationary units in the area, which is under Ivorian Security and Defence Forces (FDS) control.

Cote d'Ivoire has been split into a government-controlled south and a rebel-held north – with some 6,000 UN and 4,000 French peacekeepers patrolling a buffer zone – since rebels tried to topple President Laurent Gbagbo in 2002.

ENDS

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