Côte d’Ivoire on Friday marks the end of a United Nations mandate with a presence in the country for 13 years, officially ending a peacekeeping mission deemed a success.
“This milestone was made possible thanks to a significantly improved security situation in Côte d’Ivoire,” the UN said in a statement. UN Secretary General António Guterres also expressed his respect for the 150 peacekeepers who died during the course of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) mission.
“He commends the significant contributions of all partners national, regional and international in the Ivoirian peace process,” said Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
The mission began with 6,000 peacekeepers in 2004, which was increased to nearly 12,000 in 2011 following the post-2010 election crisis. Some 3,000 people died and another 300,000 became refugees during the civil war.
Elections in 2011 and 2016, with the opposition participating in the latter, were successful in restoring the country’s government. The UN noted that Côte d’Ivoire is now among the continent’s fastest growing economies.
On Thursday, President Alassane Ouattara met with Aïchatou Mindaoudou, the Special Representative of the UN in Côte d’Ivoire, to thank her for her pivotal role and tireless efforts in advancing the peace.
For her part, she made clear that whatever successes have been achieved are because of the Ivoirian people and their commitment to a peaceful future. She leaves the country confident in their ability to move forward, she said.
Image: UN File Photo