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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ABIDJAN885 2006-08-08 18:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abidjan
Cable title:  

COTE D'IVOIRE: UN SUSPENDS DISMANTLEMENT OF

Tags:   PGOV KPKO ASEC IV 
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VZCZCXRO2691
RR RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0885 2201819
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081819Z AUG 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1730
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ABIDJAN 000885 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/07/2016
TAGS: PGOV KPKO ASEC IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE: UN SUSPENDS DISMANTLEMENT OF
MILITIAS IN GUIGLO

REF: ABIDJAN 876 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: REFCOORD NICHOLAS HILGERT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) Summary: The UN confirms reports that it has halted
the dismantlement of militias in Guiglo over the weekend. A
UN official told us that tension in Guiglo remained high as
some 1000 militia members from other towns continued their
protests over the weekend. Although officially the UN claims
to have suspended activities due to the low ratio of weapons
per militia member, they are clearly also concerned by the
potential for violence among disgruntled militias who believe
their names should also be included on the disarmament lists.
End Summary.



2. (U) The local press reports that the UN Mission in Cote
d'Ivoire (ONUCI) halted the dismantlement of militias in
western Cote d'Ivoire over the weekend. The Head of ONUCI's
DDR Department, Jean-Luc Stallone confirmed these reports to
us on August 8. He said that disarmament had been "put on
hold" because of the low number of weapons being surrendered
by militia members. To date, according to ONUCI, 930
militias had registered for the dismantlement program but had
only turned over 90 weapons and some 5,100 rounds of
ammunition. (Note: these figures for weapons and ammunition
are even lower than those reported earlier, e.g., in Abidjan
839.)



3. (C) Francois Sonon, Head of Office for the UN's Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in
Duekoue, a town just east of Guiglo, told us on August 8 that
tension in Guiglo remained high over the weekend as some 1000
militia members from other towns, namely Toulepleu located on
the Liberian border, had continued their protests in Guiglo.
Sonon said protesters had attacked the actual DDR sites and
there were unconfirmed reports that some persons had burned
the residence of the sub-Prefect in Toulepleu. According to
Sonon, the protesters continue to claim that some of the
names on the dismantlement lists are not actual combatants
and they are demanding that their own names be added to the
DDR lists. After discussions with the military Prefect in
Guiglo on Saturday morning, the protesters agreed to return
to their villages although they demanded assistance to
return. UN forces from the Benin-battalion based in Guiglo
provided them with logistical assistance. However, Sonon
said other militia groups blocked roads in Duekoue on Sunday
to protest the UN's decision to suspend the disarmament
process.



4. (C) Emboff traveling in Guiglo last week viewed weapons
turned in on August 2, when the UN claimed some 50 militia
members were disarmed. Located in the back of a pick-up
truck under Ivoirian military escort (FANCI), Emboff was able
to see two rusty automatic weapons, one hand grenade, and
several dozen ammunition rounds. Many have criticized the
quality of weapons being turned in, charging militia groups
with handing in broken weapons. Jacques Seurt, Chief of
Mission for the International Organization for Migration
(IOM), told Emboff at his field office in Guiglo that most of
the weapons turned in up to now were not the same type of
weapons used during the actual fighting in the region.
Several sources report the newly disarmed militias were
spending their first $240 DDR payment on drinks in local bars
in Guiglo.



5. (C) Comment: It is a bad sign that the dismantlement of
pro-Gbagbo militias in Guiglo has stopped only halfway into
the process and without producing the intended results.
Although the UN officially claims to have suspended
activities due to the low ratio of weapons per militia
member, they are also clearly concerned by the potential for
violence among disgruntled militias who believe their names
should be included in the disarmament lists. Stallone told
us the UN will try to reorganize their approach before
restarting disarmament, although it is not yet clear what
measures they will adopt. End comment.
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