- United Nations has launched US $5 million project to speed reintegration of ex-combatants as well as young people at risk into their former communities. The 1,000 micro-projects initiative was launched in Bouaké by UN’s top envoy in the West Africa nation, Y.J. Choi.
United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) launch follows the extension of mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire in July to assist in the much-delayed presidential elections due in 30 November this year.
The mission aims to support ex-combatants, ex-militias and young people at risk, along with children and women associated with the Ivorian conflict.
The micro-projects activities embody technical training, agriculture, market-gardening, cattle rearing, fishing, forestry, construction, transportation, motor mechanics, public works and catering, which are also said will help reduce poverty and youth unemployment, according to mission.
The mission also indicated that projects would provide a secure and stable environment for free and fair elections while reintegrating ex-combatants into their former communities.
Mr Choi will also visit Séguéla, Korhogo, Odienné, Guiglo, Issia and San Pedro for a sensitisation and information tour on the micro-projects initiative.
UNOCI is expected to assist West African country to conduct presidential elections in a free and fair way, as well as support its armed forces until 31 January 2009.
Ivorian political parties and groups were forced to progress faster in their reconciliation process, which includes dismantling militias, demobilising and disarming former fighters, restoring state authority across country and registering voters before polls.
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