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In Cote D'ivoire, UN Mission Dismantles Posts

In Côte d'Ivoire, UN mission dismantles nearly all posts in zone of confidence

4 April 2008 - The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire has now dismantled almost all of its military observation posts in the former zone of confidence separating the Government-held and rebel-controlled areas of the country as part of last year's accord ending active hostilities between the two sides.

Only two of the original 17 observation posts built inside the zone in the West African country remain operational, according to Colonel Mustapha Dafir, the military spokesperson for the mission, which is known as UNOCI.

Col. Dafir told a press conference yesterday in Abidjan that the dismantling process was being done progressively "after an assessment of the security situation and in consultation with all the concerned parties," adding that the mission was satisfied with the progress so far in implementing the 2007 Ouagadougou Political Agreement.

Named after the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso, where it was signed, the agreement calls for the abolition of the zone of confidence and the removal of the observation posts, as well as the formation of a new transitional government involving the two sides, the merging of the Government forces and the rebel Forces Nouvelles, and the holding of free and fair national elections later this year.

ENDS

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