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UN Forces Patrol Liberian-Côte D’Ivoire Border

UN Forces Patrol Liberian-Côte D’Ivoire Border Against Combatants, Arms Movements

New York, Oct 10 2006 4:00PM

United Nations peacekeeping forces in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia are carrying out a second week-long round of mixed patrols to monitor the movements of combatants and weapons along the border between the two West African countries, which have both suffered from civil war and factional fighting in the recent past.

The operation, being carried out from 9 to 14 October by the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), focuses on the area northwest of the town of Tabou. Its main objective is also to help Côte d'Ivoire's National Government of Reconciliation to monitor the borders.

Codenamed Mayo II, it is a follow-up to Mayo 1 undertaken in June and judged to have been very successful. The patrols fall within the mandates conferred upon UNOCI and UNMIL by the UN Security Council.

UNMIL, which as of the end of August had more than 15,800 military personnel in Liberia, helped to oversee the country’s transition from 14 years of civil war, culminating in the democratic election of Johnson-Sirleaf less than a year ago.

UNOCI, with nearly 9,000 uniformed personnel, is mandated to monitor the cessation of hostilities between Government and rebel forces which have split the country in two, and support the organization of open, free, fair and transparent elections. These have yet to take place.

In a related development, a joint report by the Liberian Government, UN, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donor partners published today said food insecurity in rural and semi-urban areas of Liberia remains a significant cause of concern.

“The message of this report is clear. Liberia must act now to address the hunger of its people,” Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Representative Jordan Ryan said. “This requires a robust response, from food aid to a rehabilitated agricultural sector.”

He noted that the survey also highlighted other factors such as road infrastructure, market access, health and sanitation, child care and education as central to the improvement of Liberia’s post-war food security picture.

The survey proposes a range of responses by which food insecurity can be addressed in both the immediate and longer term.

Ends

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