UNMAS is working in support of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) since April 2011, after deploying at the request of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in the immediate aftermath of the post-electoral crisis to assess the nature and threat posed by explosive remnants of war (ERW). Security Council Resolution 2162 (2014) – renewing UNOCI’s mandate until June 2015 – continues to highlight the importance of UNMAS work in Côte d’Ivoire.
As such, UNMAS supports UNOCI’s wider protection and stabilization efforts by providing assistance in three main areas: (i) Protection of civilians; (ii) Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration; and (iii) Reconstitution and Reform of Security institutions.
UNMAS delivers a large array of interventions as part of UNOCI’s efforts to enhance the protection and stabilization in Côte d’Ivoire:
Protection of Civilians against explosive hazards:
· Disposal of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and ERW on a call-out basis.
· Response to the requests for assistance from the Ivoirian authorities for Battle Area Clearance (BAC).
· Destruction of all known stockpiles of anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs (completed).
Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration of ex-combatants:
· Verification, securing and storage of weapons and ammunitions collected by the national authorities in charge of disarmament of ex-combatants and civilians, supporting UNOCI mandate.
· Destruction of obsolete ammunition and cutting of the unserviceable weapons and small arms at the request of the national authorities.
Security Sector Reform:
· Engagement with the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and ComNat to develop and include a strategy and action plan for Physical Security and Stockpile Management in the National Security Strategy.
· Construction and rehabilitation of Cote d’Ivoire’s armouries and ammunition storage facilities throughout the country - for the Military, the Police, the Gendarmerie and Customs; and development of national standards for ammunition storage.
· Provision of highly specialized trainings to the Military, Police and Gendarmerie in Ammunition Management, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD) – including Training-of-Trainers.
· Technical support for the drafting of bills related to the Oslo and Ottawa Conventions.
· Support to South-South cooperation with the facilitation of visits to Cote d’Ivoire by delegations of Security Forces from Chad, Soudan, Mali and the Republic of Congo to learn from the good practices and assess how they could be adapted and applied to their own contexts.
· Implementation of a community-based Arms Violence Reduction/ERW-SALW sensitization project in the West in support of local conflict prevention and management.
Implementing a Stockpile Management project requires genuine political will from the host Government. UNMAS programme in Côte d’Ivoire provides a good example of a successful partnership with national authorities, where UNMAS works in close collaboration with the Military, the Gendarmerie and the National Police to improve their capacity in terms of infrastructure development of armories and ammunition depots, technical trainings and technical advisory. The National Commission on Small Arms established a technical working group on Stockpile Management, gathering all national security forces and international partners. Within this working group, the Ivorian security forces define their own priorities in terms of rehabilitation works, enabling UNMAS to take action and provide support in accordance herewith.
UNMAS programme in Côte d’Ivoire is funded through the Assessed Budget of UNOCI, which has just been renewed until June 2015.
Updated November 2014