Ivory Coast: June 6, 2003


The United Nations appointed Brigadier General Abdul Hafiz of the Bangladeshi Army to head the initial 26-strong United Nations military observer contingent of the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire (MINUCI). This group is charged with advising the Security Council on military affairs, monitoring the local situation and establishing links between French, ECOWAS, government and rebel units.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is looking for western donors to fork over nearly US $40 million, so they can double or even triple their 1,200-strong peace-keeping force. The Netherlands have offered $580,000 and may double that figure, while Belgium has pledged $712,000. The US, France and Britain contributed most of the initial $13 million cost of deploying the ECOWAS force for six months were still considering whether to make any further financial commitment.

Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast will set up new surveillance systems on their common border and intensify patrols by their armies along with French and West African peacekeepers to enable cross-border road and railway traffic shut down eight months ago to resume by 30 June. - Adam Geibel


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