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UN In Cote D'ivoire Hands Over Disarmament Sites

UN mission in Côte d'Ivoire hands over disarmament sites to Government

17 March 2008 - The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) has transferred to national Government control three disarmament facilities in the country's northern region, which has been dominated by the rebel Forces Nouvelles since 2002.

At a ceremony held to mark the event in the town of Ferkessedougou this weekend, 118 former rebel fighters surrendered their weapons.

In doing so, they formally joined the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process outlined by the latest agreement between the parties, known as the Ouagadougou Accords.

"In accordance with the Ouagadougou Accords, ONUCI plays an active role the in the DDR process," Georg Charpentier, Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Noting that the ceremony marked a new beginning for the DDR effort, he encouraged all parties to bring it to completion.

The Ouagadougou pact, signed in neighbouring Burkina Faso last March, calls for the creation of a new transitional government, free and fair presidential elections and the merger of the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces, among other measures.

ENDS

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