UN envoy warns: Ivorian politicians threatening reconciliation
--Liberia to extradite 40 suspected dissidents
The United Nations Special Representative in Ivory Coast and head of the UN peacekeeping mission (UNUCI) Bert Koenders has criticized Ivorian political actors for engaging in a war of words through the media, which is undermining national reconciliation.
In a statement released in Abidjan, Koenders, who is also head of the UN peacekeeping mission (UNUCI) urged Ivorian political actors to end a new wave of abusive language used by some of them in the media.
The ONUCI chief expressed concern about the resurgence of verbal violence and 'urged both the political class and representatives of the media to avoid abusive language that could call into question democratic gains and national reconciliation.’
Ivorian regulatory agencies have also been strongly urged to maintain their vigilance and prevent any violation of their decisions in that area.
The statement by the UNOCI boss comes as tensions mount between President Alassane Ouattara’s government and supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo.
The UN Humanitarian Relief Coordinator, Ndolamb Ngokwey has also said "A climate of fear has taken hold and is causing many villagers to prolong their displacement or even flee to other regions."
Some 13,00 had fled their homes due to cross-border attacks in the Western town of Tai on the Liberian border, which was blamed on pro-Gbagbo militants. The Ivorians—most of them women and children—fled after some 22 people were killed (7UN peacekeeping soldiers and civilians).
Liberia to extradite 41 suspected dissidents
A court in Southeastern Liberia has ruled in favor of the extradition of some 40 suspected Ivorian dissidents to be tried in their home country.
The suspects are said to have committed multiple crimes against humanity, including rape and murder in both Liberia and Ivory Coast.
Lawyers representing the alleged dissidents had earlier filed a writ to block their extradition.
According to Liberia’s Solicitor General Wilkins Wright, the accused have been in detention at the maximum Zwedru Correction Palace since they were arrested last year.
In keeping with Liberian law, the Ivorian government has up to 30 days to charge the suspected dissidents.
After recent cross-border raids by Ivorian dissidents in Western Ivory Coast, leaders of the economic bloc Mano River Union, comprising Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, agreed at a summit in Conakry, Guinea, to mount joint border patrols of their common frontiers.
The United Nations peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire have also agreed to undertake joint security measures to ensure the protection of the borders of the two countries.
The recent cross-border attacks have raised fears of insecurity in towns and villages straddling the frontiers of the two countries, as well as sparking displacements and hindering cross-border trade and movement.
During the week, Ivorian military headquarters paraded some “prisoners of war” before journalists, who were alleged to be members of a commando group operating in the Western area of the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Liberian authorities announced that it was calm on their end of the border and renewed their commitment to instilling security along the border with Cote d’Ivoire.Tweet