At the request of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), UNMAS first deployed mine action staff to Côte d’Ivoire in April 2011, in the immediate aftermath of the post-electoral crisis, in order to conduct an emergency assessment of the situation with regards to explosive remnants of war (ERW).
In Security Council Resolutions 2112 (2013), revising the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), reference is made, inter alia, to the importance of UNOCI to “continue to assist the national authorities […] in collecting, registering, securing and disposing of weapons and in clearing explosive remnants of war, as appropriate.”
UNMAS, together with its implementing partners and National Authorities, have enhanced the protection and stabilization efforts in Côte d’Ivoire by carrying out the following activities: (i) Battle Area Clearance (BAC) in Abidjan, (ii) disposal of single UXO’s on a call out basis, (iii) development of national standards for ammunition storage, (iv) assessments of ammunition storage facilities throughout the country, (v) provision of training in ammunition management and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)to National Authorities (vi) disposal of non-serviceable ammunition, (vii) disposal of all known stockpiles of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions, (viii) refurbishment/rehabilitation of ammunition storage facilities and armouries, (ix) provision of a small arms and light weapons disposal capacity in support of DDR, (xii) provision of training in Improvised Explosive Device Defeat, and (xiii) implementation of an Armed Violence Reduction project.
UNMAS works in support of UNOCI’s wider protection and stabilization efforts by providing assistance in the following three main areas:
Running a Stockpile Management project requires genuine political will from the host Government. The UNMAS pilot project in Côte d’Ivoire is a good example of a successful partnership with national authorities, where UNMAS works in close collaboration with the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI), the Gendarmerie and the National Police to improve their capacity in this regard. This includes both infrastructure development of armories and ammunition depots and technical training. The Ivoirian 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.
The UNMAS programme in Côte d’Ivoire is currently funded through the assessed budget of UNOCI until June 2014.
Updated April 2014