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Côte d'Ivoire: UN mission supports new identification scheme ahead of elections

26 September 2007 The United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is helping the authorities plan and execute a new identification scheme ahead of presidential elections called for under a pact signed earlier this year between the Government which controls the south of the West African country and Forces Nouvelles which has held the north since 2002.

UNOCI will send logistics support teams to all 68 districts where the so-called audiences foraines are being conducted. The question of Ivorian identity is a sensitive issue in a country that has also attracted migrants.

The audiences are scheduled to last three months. Elections were slated for last year but then postponed due to differences between the parties, originally until 31 October this year.

UNOCI was set up in 2004 with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities between the warring parties and, among other goals, to contribute “to the security of the operations of identification of the population and registration of voters” and support “the organization of open, free, fair and transparent elections.”

As of the end of August it had a strength of nearly 9,200 uniformed personnel, including almost 8,000 troops and over 1,130 police.

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