Insights on Côte d’Ivoire
This morning the head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, briefed Council members on recent events in Côte d’Ivoire. Le Roy last briefed the Council on Friday afternoon.
It seems that Le Roy explained that the attacks by former President Laurent Gbagbo’s forces using heavy weapons against President Alassane Ouattara’s headquarters at the Golf Hotel and against UN personnel on Friday and Saturday triggered the decision by the Secretary-General on Sunday to once again give operational clearance for UNOCI to take “necessary measures” to prevent the use of heavy weapons against civilians in Abidjan pursuant to resolution 1975.
Le Roy also confirmed that this morning Gbagbo surrendered.
It seems that Gbagbo and his wife are currently in custody at the Golf Hotel. Following a request for UNOCI to ensure their security UNOCI forces are currently protecting them but they are not in UNOCI’s custody.
During Le Roy’s briefing Council members appeared to be satisfied that the Secretary-General’s decision and UNOCI’s action over the weekend were within UNOCI’s mandate. However Council members are also aware that the crisis is not over and that law and order needs to be restored as quickly as possible.
The Council is scheduled to discuss Côte d’Ivoire again this Wednessday,13 April. At that point greater attention may now be given to UNOCI’s role in restoring stability. (UNOCI’s mandate expires on 30 June.)