As the UN Security Council marked Friday (June 30 June) the closing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the Council members urged the Ivorian Government to address the remaining challenges in the country for the benefit of all Ivoirians.
In a statement read out by Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz of Bolivia, which holds the Council presidency for June, the 15-member body recognized UNOCI’s efforts in promoting peace, stability and development, emphasizing that the departure of the mission did not mark the end of the UN’s support to the country.
In addition, the Council welcomed progress in the West African nation, including the consolidation of peace and stability, improvements in economic prosperity and the successful holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The Security Council, at the same time, noted that “there is important work ahead” in tackling remaining challenges – including in the fight against impunity, the advancement of national reconciliation and social cohesion, security sector reform and other critical areas.
The UNOCI was deployed to Côte d’Ivoire in 2004 when the country was divided in half by an armed conflict. During its time in the country, the mission helped protect civilians, enabled inclusive political dialogue and supported the Government in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of nearly 70,000 former combatants, the statement recalled, adding that the mission also supported social cohesion through about 1,000 quick impact projects, resulting in the decrease in inter-communal conflicts by 80 per cent.