Côte d'Ivoire: Humanitarians assessing critical needs
Despite pockets of instability in certain areas of Abidjan, the overall security situation seems to be improving. In most neighbourhoods of Abidjan, with the exception of Yopougon, economic activities are slowly regaining momentum with more shops re-opening. Though socio-economic activities have started, many banks remain closed, while the cost of basic commodities has doubled.
On 29 April, a ceremony in which about fifty pro-Gbagbo militia men surrendered their arms in presence of Forces Republicaines de Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI) and UNOCI peacekeepers took place. Kalashnikov guns, a rocket launcher and unexploded grenades were collected. This ceremony was expected to mark the end to resistance in the neighbourhood Yopougon, but this has not happened. Separate incidents, such as the assassination of two people at the “Toits Rouge” mosque after Friday prayers and the ensuing combat between FRCI and militiamen men in Yopougon have been reported.
Amid the announced trial of former President Laurent Gbagbo and 200 others (Gbagbo supporters), scheduled to begin on 4 May, reconciliation efforts were boosted by a visit by Kofi Anan, former United Nations Secretary-General, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland. The delegation arrived in Abidjan on 1 May, spending 48-hours in the city, where they had discussions with President Ouattara to support reconciliation and post-crisis reconstruction efforts in Cote d ‘Ivoire.
In carrying out the Security Council’s recommendation to determine UNOCI’s future configuration and role in Côte d'Ivoire beyond June 2011, a high level UN interdepartmental/inter-agency assessment mission arrived in Abidjan on 1 May to hold consultations with both political and government stakeholders. The thirteen-day mission will end on 13 May.
The European Commission, which has increased its humanitarian assistance to Côte d'Ivoire to a total of EUR 60 million, sent a team from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to Côte d'Ivoire to work with aid partners to assess humanitarian needs in the areas of health, protection, water, sanitation and food. They primarily assessed the situation in the West of the country and in Abidjan, the areas which have been most severely affected by the conflict.
More>> OCHA Situation Report #4