The United Nations (U.N.) on Friday June 30, 2017; officially ended its peacekeeping mission in the West African country, Ivory Coast.
The United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was established in 2004 under U.N. resolution 1528.
It started as a 6,000 peacekeeping force – combination of troops and police. The number was increased to 11,792 in 2011 in the wake of the post election crisis.
He also pays tribute to all uniformed and civilian personnel who served with UNOCI, and expresses his profound respect for the memory of the 150 peacekeepers who lost their life in the service of peace during the 13 years of deployment of the Mission.
UNOCI’s main mission was to monitor and support a peace agreement signed by the Ivorian parties a year earlier. They were to help restore ‘state authority’ in the country that had been split into two at the time. The government-held south and rebel-held north.
I thank all UN peacekeepers who finished a job well done in Côte d’Ivoire & I hail the Ivorian people for building peace and stability. pic.twitter.com/q3ACMMocBg— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 30, 2017
A statement attributed to U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric; said the government and people of Ivory Coast deserved congratulations for the relative peace they currently enjoy.
‘‘He (Guterres) also pays tribute to all uniformed and civilian personnel who served with UNOCI, and expresses his profound respect for the memory of the 150 peacekeepers who lost their life in the service of peace during the 13 years of deployment of the Mission. He expresses his gratitude to all troop and police contributing countries,’‘ the statement read in parts.
The U.N. Country Team will, however, continue to engage the government and other stakeholders to consolidate the peace gains achieved over the years.
Security in the top cocoa producer was threatened earlier this year after mutinies by ex-combatants demanding payment from the government. Their action resulted in shutdowns in parts of the country affecting economic activity in the country.