UN peacekeepers increase patrols in tense areas of Côte dIvoire Fréchette arrives

The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) “reported that gunshots were heard yesterday on the eastern side of the town of Danane, situated a few kilometres from Côte d’Ivoire’s border with Liberia,” Fred Eckhard said at the daily briefing in New York.”UN peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNIMIL) based in Loguato, a town almost opposite Danane on the Liberian side, told the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire they saw concentrations of unidentified persons around that area,” he added.Meanwhile, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette carried her message of zero-tolerance of sexual exploitation or abuse by UN peacekeepers to Côte d’Ivoire today, after visiting the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).She was scheduled to meet President Laurent Gbagbo to review the cooperation between UNOCI and the Government, Mr. Eckhard said.Among the people Ms. Fréchette met in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, were the staff of UNAMSIL and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Mr. Eckhard said.She told UNAMSIL staff that although different types of personnel served in UN missions, they all would be measured “against one set of standards – the UN standards of conduct” and she asked the NGOs to work with UN offices in the West African country to eliminate infractions.As part of its reform strategies, the UN would appoint mission staff members to work on issues of sexual exploitation and would also increase the organization’s capacity to carry out investigations, Mr. Eckhard quoted her as saying.

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