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COUNCIL HOLDS SEPARATE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUES WITH INDEPENDENT EXPERTS ON THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND ON CÔTE D’IVOIRE

30 June 2015

The Human Rights Council this afternoon held separate interactive dialogues with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, and with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire.  

Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, said that despite improvements in the Central African Republic since the beginning of her mandate, the security situation remained worrisome in certain areas, including areas near the border, where the population continued to be subjected to abuses by armed groups and border patrols.  Inter-community tensions persisted in Bangui and in many villages.  Populations did not mix and remained in their areas under the protection of religious leaders.  In rural areas, disputes over access to agriculture or water had led to several deaths among civilians.  More than 200,000 refugees, and 400,000 internally displaced persons remained, while 2.7 million persons were in need of urgent humanitarian aid.   

Diane Corner, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of Mission, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, said that the human rights situation in the Central African Republic remained grave and the continuing climate of impunity posed a great threat.  The participants of the Bangui Forum held in May pledged themselves to a National Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction.  One of the first steps to implement the Forum’s outcomes, the law creating the Special Criminal Court, had been promulgated on 3 June 2015.  The most critical challenges in the fight against impunity transpired through the chain of justice; considerable obstacles to the administration of justice remained, and in some areas de facto State authorities filled in this vacuum. 

Imam Kobine Layama, Central African Republic Inter-Religious Platform, said that the Central African Republic had known many political and military crises, which caused many victims, decrease of security, and systematic violations of human rights, such as the right to education, the right to health, the right to food and other rights.  In order to help the country restore respect for human rights it was necessary to help youth gain education in order to provide them with tools that would help them avoid instrumentalization by various political and criminal groups.

Aristide Sokambi, Minister of Justice of the Central African Republic, stated  the need for technical assistance and capacity building aid in order to restore security, peace, stability and durable development.  The Government was stepping up the deployment of police forces throughout the country, and was reactivating the judicial and administrative systems.  Reconciliation among different communities was proceeding without any impediment.  The Government was also working to gradually fight impunity and to that end it had established the  Special Criminal Court to serve as a hybrid legal mechanism, comprising international and national judges.

Jeannette Dethoua, Minister for National Reconciliation of the Central African Republic, noted that the people’s consultations and the National Forum in Bangui held from January to March 2015 throughout the country and refugee camps in neighbouring countries, gave the population an opportunity to freely express opinions and expectations.  They served as a foundation for the National Forum of Bangui, which took place in May 2015.  At the National forum, strong recommendations had been adopted to combat impunity, reconciliation, dialogue and justice. 

Speakers in the interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic welcomed efforts of the transitional authorities to restore peace and stability, and to bring about justice and national reconciliation.  Nevertheless, they voiced concern over the continued humanitarian crisis, violence against civilians, in particular against women and girls, and the recruitment of children by armed groups.  They noted that in the next period the transitional authorities should strive to organize free and fair elections in order to set up stable State institutions, and to continue fighting impunity.  The country required assistance and aid of the international community in order to address the remaining problems.   

Speaking in the interactive dialogue on the Central African Republic were the European Union, Algeria on behalf of the African Group, Canada on behalf of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Norway, Niger, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, France, Morocco, Congo, Ireland, Angola, Mali, Estonia, China, Luxembourg, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, United States, Benin, Chad, Algeria and Egypt.

The following civil society organizations also took the floor: International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, Human Rights Watch, and Arab Commission for Human Rights.

Mohammed Ayat, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire, presenting his report, congratulated the authorities for having abolished the death penalty.  The Government had also introduced laws to deal with serious human rights violations, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and a national commission had been established to provide remedy and reparations to the victims of the post-election crises.   The prosecution of those who committed human rights violations during the post-electoral crisis of 2011 had gained speed.  Significant progress had been made in social rehabilitation of former combatants.  However, the international community had to be very mindful about the manner in which the mentioned processes were taking place.   

Côte d’Ivoire, speaking as the concerned country, said the Government had recently taken measures to return university facilities back to the service of the students after the last combatants had left the premises.  Sensitization, education and training on human rights of youth and women organizations was considered important by the Government, which was organizing local caravans in this regard.  Recommendations made by the Independent Expert were for the most part being implemented or had already been implemented.  Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the Independent Expert’s call to the international community to further support its efforts towards strengthening the rule of law, good governance and human security. 

Speakers in the interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the progress that the Government had made in judicial reforms, achieving reconciliation and in fighting impunity.  They encouraged the country to prosecute all crimes regardless of political affiliation, and to provide reparations to victims.  As for the upcoming presidential elections, they noted that the electoral process should allow all political parties to express themselves, and called on the international community to provide relevant assistance to that end.  

European Union, Algeria on behalf of the African Group, and Canada took the floor.

The Council will reconvene on Wednesday, 1 July, at 9 a.m. to continue the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire.  It will then start an interactive dialogue with the Office of the High Commissioner on an oral update on Boko Haram.

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in the Central African Republic

Statement by the Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in the Central African Republic 

MARIE-THÉRÈSE KEITA BOCOUM, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic, shared her observations following her recent visit to the country, from 16 to 23 June.  She noted that the human rights situation had improved in the Central African Republic since the beginning of her mandate, thanks to international interventions that re-established security in a large part of the territory and to measures taken by the transitional Government.  The security situation remained, however, preoccupying in certain areas, including areas near the border, where the population continued to be subjected to abuses by armed groups and border patrols.  Inter-community tensions remained in Bangui and in many villages.  Populations did not mix, and remained in their areas under the protection of religious leaders.  In rural areas, disputes over access to agriculture or water had led to several deaths among civilians.  More than 200,000 refugees, and 400,000 internally displaced persons remained, and 2.7 million persons were in need of urgent humanitarian aid. 

The national authorities, together with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, sent a strong signal by arresting three rebel leaders earlier this year.  Consultations had shown the necessity to adopt a global strategy to combat impunity, including amending the constitution to prohibit amnesty possibilities for perpetrators of international crimes; establishing the Special Criminal Court and mechanisms to protect judges, lawyers, witnesses and victims; and establishing a truth, justice, reparation and reconciliation commission.  The status of the Special Criminal Court had been adopted on 3 June 2015, the Independent Expert welcomed.  This was a decisive move towards accountability, she noted, and the international community should support, including financially, the implementation of this mandate.  The fight against impunity was crucial for the peace process, she said.  The authorities had announced an ambitious electoral calendar, and it was important that all persons, including displaced persons, took part in the process.   

Statement by the Deputy Head of Mission of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic

DIANE CORNER, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of Mission, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), said that the human rights situation in the Central African Republic remained grave and the continuing climate of impunity posed a great threat.  The Bangui Forum had taken place in May, and its participants from across the country pledged themselves to a National Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction.  One of the first steps to implement the Forum’s outcomes, the law creating the Special Criminal Court, had been promulgated on 3 June 2015.  The most critical challenges in the fight against impunity transpired through the chain of justice; considerable obstacles to the administration of justice remained, and in some areas de facto State authorities filled in this vacuum.  The first criminal hearing had started in Bangui yesterday, 29 June; a total of 63 cases would be heard by the court, including that of Patrick Ngaissona, the anti-Balaka leader.  Important steps were being taken to fight impunity and to establish a functioning system of justice in the Central African Republic.  Critical needs remained and Ms. Corner made a plea for strong support for the holding of fair and credible presidential and legislative elections, due in October.  It was the restoration of democracy and constitutional order that would provide the basis for strong institutions which would fight impunity and allow the process of reconciliation to transform into a lasting peace for the people of the Central African Republic.

Statements by the Concerned Country

ARISTIDE SOKAMBI, Minister of Justice of the Central African Republic, thanked the Independent Expert for her work on the situation of human rights in the country, which helped the authorities to shed light on many delicate human rights issues that the country faced.  The Independent Expert raised the question of the State’s weakness and the need for technical assistance and capacity building aid in order to restore security, peace, stability and durable development.  The Government was stepping up the deployment of police forces throughout the country, and was reactivating the judicial and administrative systems.  Reconciliation among different communities was proceeding without any impediment.  The Government was also gradually working on fighting impunity.  Perpetrators of human rights violations would be prosecuted.  The Government appealed for quick assistance in order to resolve the issue of the overpopulation of prisons.  A special criminal court was set up to serve as a hybrid legal mechanism, comprising international and national judges.  The Government also transferred some cases to the International Criminal Court.  Those who were responsible for human rights violations would be systematically prosecuted, which would give hope to many silent victims.     

IMAM KOBINE LAYAMA, Central African Republic Inter-Religious Platform, said that the Central African Republic had known many political and military crises, which caused many victims, decrease of security, and systematic violations of human rights, such as the right to education, the right to health, the right to food and other rights.  In order to help the country restore respect for human rights, it was necessary to help youth gain education in order to provide them with tools that would help them avoid instrumentalization by various political and criminal groups.  Mr. Layama highlighted the question of thousands of children among the displaced population who did not have access to education.  It was necessary to support the transitional Government in organizing free and fair elections, and to support processes which would allow all citizens to fully exercise their rights. 

JEANNETTE DETHOUA, Minister for National Reconciliation of the Central African Republic, recalled that the Brazzaville Agreement of July 2014 called for the organization of people’s consultations and of a National Forum in Bangui.  These consultations took place from January to March 2015 throughout the country and in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.  They gave the population an opportunity to freely express opinions and expectations.  These served as the foundation for the National Forum of Bangui, which took place in May 2015.  At the National Forum, strong recommendations had been adopted to combat impunity, reconciliation, dialogue and justice.  Recommendations were today the reflection of the deep hopes of the people of the country, and should guide the activities of the Government.  Victims wanted their status to be recognized as well as their suffering to be repaired.  The reconciliation could not be effective unless reparation and accountability were ensured.  The Government planned to immediately establish a truth and reconciliation commission, and a global vast network of mediators and reconciliation experts to bring peace to all the territory.  In order to consolidate its efforts and to make further progress, the Central African Republic would need the continued support of international donors. 

Interactive Dialogue on the Central African Republic

European Union welcomed the May 2015 Bangui Forum and said that stability and peace were essential to overcome the crisis, but not at the detriment of justice; the fight against impunity was a crucial aspect of the reconciliation process.  The European Union asked about the 6,000 to 10,000 children still associated with armed groups.  Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the Bangui Forum had demonstrated the firm will to find lasting solutions to multi-faceted obstacles, including in justice, peace and reconciliation, and governance.  The international community should support the transitional authorities to implement the conclusions of the Forum and so ensure that the country did not fall into chaos once again.  Canada, speaking on behalf of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, said that the priority was the return to peace and stability and welcomed the outcomes of the Bangui Forum including the signing of the agreement on disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation.  Portugal recognized the important progress towards reconciliation and remained concerned about continuing violence against civilians.  The fight against impunity was fundamental and responsible authorities must protect victims from further harm.

Spain noted that progress had been made in the fight against impunity and in reconciliation.  It was necessary to undertake deep reforms in the country in order to move towards solid progress in the promotion and protection of human rights.  There was a need to address the issue of child soldiers, violence against women and girls, and torture.  United Kingdom remained deeply concerned about insecurity and the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.  It called on the Government to demobilize all children and help them reintegrate in society.  The lack of economic prospects in the country contributed to the recruitment of children in the armed forces.  Norway said that the positive outcomes of the Bangui Conference were encouraging, but it remained concerned about continued human rights violations, general violence, impunity and insecurity in the country.  Special efforts had to be made to protect children, persons with disabilities, and those at risk from sexual and gender based terrorism.  Niger praised the efforts made by the transitional authorities to establish national reconciliation and justice.  It was also encouraging that the humanitarian situation was being dealt with by the authorities.  Nevertheless, challenges such as impunity remained and the country needed the assistance of the international community to address them. 

Ghana welcomed efforts made by the Central African Republic in ensuring peace and reconciliation, and expressed concerns that many detainees remained in jail without trial.  It also noted with concern that those responsible for human rights violations in the Central African Republic remained to be apprehended and prosecuted.  Rwanda welcomed the successful outcome of the Bangui Forum, but was concerned that the situation remained fragile and that much remained to be done before the elections begin.  Rwanda would continue to support the Central African Republic.  Senegal noted that the domestic political dialogue had improved and had led to the Bangui Forum, and called on the international community to support efforts by the Central African Republic to promote dialogue, reconciliation and peace.  Togo welcomed the positive steps and events in the Central African Republic, and noted the positive impact of the mandate of the Independent Expert.  It welcomed the conclusions resulting from the National Forum in Bangui, and invited all the parties to abide by their commitments.

Gabon noted the commitments made by the transitional authorities to bring about peace, stability and justice.  It also noted the efforts made by the international community in order to stabilize the country.  However, the violence perpetrated by armed groups and impunity remained worrisome.   France welcomed the way in which the transitional authorities had cooperated with the Independent Expert, noting that the road map for national reconciliation had to be observed by all stakeholders.  It was necessary to release child soldiers, fight impunity and hold free and fair elections in order to set up stable institutions.  Morocco voiced concern over the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic and ongoing human rights violations.  It expressed support to the transitional authorities, noting that Morocco would cooperate with other international efforts to restore stability and peace in the country.  Republic of Congo said that ever since the political crises had begun in the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo had committed to helping find peace and stability in that country.  It remained concerned that there were still persistent insecurity and human rights violations, especially against women and girls. 

Ireland remained gravely concerned about continued reports of summary executions of women and children and the continued exploitation, including recruiting of children by armed groups.  Measures in this regard had to be immediately implemented, as well as measures to tackle impunity, which was crucial for reconciliation and the re-establishment of the rule of law.  Ireland asked how to rehabilitate children involved with armed groups.   Angola welcomed recent developments in the Central African Republic, including national consultations and the National Forum, and encouraged the authorities to continue their efforts to implement the recommendations made during these events.  Angola called for continued support to the Central African Republic from the international community.  Mali welcomed the excellent collaboration between the transitional authorities and the Independent Expert, and commended the political will demonstrated by the authorities to achieve progress in the fields of human rights, accountability, national reconciliation and peace.  Mali called for international support to the country, and demanded that the conditions of displaced persons be improved.  Estonia commended the Central African Republic for its cooperation with the Independent Expert, but expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in the country and other challenges.  Estonia had contributed to the development of the country in terms of security and development aid.  It welcomed the establishment of the Special Criminal Court and encouraged its cooperation with the International Criminal Court.  Finally, Estonia encouraged the full participation of women to the transition process. 

China said it supported active efforts to promote national peace and reconciliation and noted the challenges to the security situation, and to socio-economic development.  China would provide the Central African Republic with the necessary assistance and support within its capacity.  Luxembourg welcomed the results of the Bangui Forum which had brought together all the stakeholders in the country and had marked a new step towards peace.  It also welcomed the recent release of hundreds of children by armed groups and the efforts to lay ground for the upcoming elections.  Luxembourg asked about the state of operationalization of the Special Criminal Court.  Australia was deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in the country, particularly sexual violence against women and children, and this required urgent attention.  A lasting peace must be found, perpetrators of violence must be brought to account, and all parties must engage in the reconciliation process underway.  Belgium attached particular importance to the fight against impunity and urged the Central African Republic to do its utmost to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes.  Belgium welcomed the creation of the Special Criminal Court and asked the Independent Expert what should be the key elements for the international community in the fight against impunity.

Switzerland said the situation in the Central African Republic remained fragile, and civilians continued to be the targets of attacks.  Switzerland welcomed the adoption of the Republican Pact and the establishment of the Special Criminal Court.  It called upon the authorities to make this court operational as soon as possible, and asked how the international community could support it.  United States commended the authorities of the Central African Republic for the Bangui Forum, and called on all armed groups to honour the commitments they made.  Humanitarian needs remained significant, and addressing impunity was crucial for the accomplishment of peace and reconciliation.  The United States welcomed the establishment of the Special Criminal Court, and urged the authorities to ensure that forthcoming elections were fair, transparent and inclusive of all displaced persons and refugees.  Benin welcomed the results of the Bangui Forum and the progress achieved in various sectors.  It commended civil society participation in the reconciliation efforts, and welcomed the authorities’ commitments to combat impunity.  Some 200,000 persons were still living in dire humanitarian conditions, Benin noted, before asking what more could be done to address their needs.  Chad said the security and human rights situation in the Central African Republic had improved, and welcomed the outcome of the National Bangui Forum regarding peace, security, national reconciliation and reconstruction.  Chad would continue to support the Central African Republic and called on continued support from the international community. 

Algeria said that the Bangui Forum was an opportunity to build the consensus around national reconciliation, and this would lay the groundwork conducive to holding presidential elections in October.  Ensuring that impunity was eliminated was crucial to avoid slippage on the way and bring about peace, security and reconciliation.  Egypt hailed the creation of the Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations as a way to fight impunity.  The international community should respect its responsibilities in the implementation of national reconciliation.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said that ensuring responsibility for crimes and violations was crucial for the establishment of peace and stability and hoped that the judiciary would have the proper man power, expertise and safety.  Human Rights Watch welcomed the establishment of the Special Criminal Court which would work alongside the International Criminal Court to hold the perpetrators of violations to account and provide justice to victims of crimes committed by anti-Balaka and Seleka.  This Court would need money and resources and truly experienced staff, and United Nations support would be crucial for its success.  Arab Commission for Human Rights said the reconciliation process was more than just a legal process.  It had a moral dimension as well, and religious leaders had to be fully included in such efforts.  Arab Commission for Human Rights welcomed the establishment of the Special Criminal Court, and asked what the international community should do to protect internally displaced persons and refugees. 

Concluding Remarks

MARIE-THÉRÈSE KEITA BOCOUM, Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in the Central African Republic, in concluding remarks, said that there had not been sufficient measures taken so far to protect and rehabilitate children that had been involved with armed groups.  The Republican Pact included commitments to release children, and activities by civil society actors had been provided to children to strengthen their rehabilitation.  The truth and reconciliation committee had taken up awareness raising on access to justice, particularly for women, children and witnesses.  Witnesses had to be supported so they were not deterred from contributing to the judicial system.  Outreach measures regarding the role of the Special Criminal Court and its access by women and children had been organized.  The population was aware of justice mechanisms and had expressed many recommendations in that regard during the Bangui Forum, including the prohibition of amnesty laws for the most serious crimes.  It was important to keep working on restoring the authority of the State and security throughout the territory, and to strengthen efforts towards accountability.  The Special Criminal Court had to be put in place as soon as possible, and the international community should support this. 

DIANE CORNER, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of Mission, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), said that the issue of children associated with armed forces was a particularly distressing one.  There had been concerted efforts to prepare the ground for their release; over 300 children had been released from armed groups following the Bangui Forum.  Many people in the Central African Republic, who themselves had very little, acted as carers for those children.  Efforts were ongoing to put in place the disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation process, and in this connection, the MINUSCA was demobilizing armed forces in a number of places around the country.  On the question on human rights reporting, Ms. Corner said that the Mission would soon release its first public report on the human rights situation in the country.  She reiterated the zero tolerance policy to sexual abuse and said that relevant agencies were handling inquiries into abuse by the United Nations forces.  The sustained commitment of the international community was needed to create sustainable peace.

IMAM KOBINE LAYAMA, Central African Republic Inter-Religious Platform,  thanked speakers for their comments, and stressed that one main item of concern did come up in the discussion.  It concerned the role that civil society could play in dealing with the issue of child soldiers.  Among armed groups there were young people who wished to be included in more socially inclusive processes.  They got together with religious platforms and expressed the desire to go back to civilian life.  It was important to discuss how they could be re-educated and included in social life.  About 50 per cent of the population was made up of young people who had never gone to school.  The international community should help civil society to come up with means to enable those young people to re-build their lives, which would have a huge social impact on the country.

ARISTIDE SOKAMBI, Minister of Justice of the Central African Republic, said that the fight against impunity united everyone’s efforts to bring stability and peace to the Central African Republic.  The hybrid nature of the recently established special court in the country would help it bring in international experience and ensure its proper operations.  There was also an ongoing agreement regarding the upcoming elections.  As for the question of detainees who were yet to be tried, Mr. Sokambi said that the Government would work on the issue together with the International Criminal Court, adding that the country’s Criminal Code set up relevant provisions for defence.

JEANNETTE DETHOUA, Minister for National Reconciliation of the Central African Republic, thanked the delegations which expressed their concern about the situation of women and children who were subjected to sexual abuse.  The Government had organized a symposium on the plight of children, whose recommendations had been reported to the Bangui Forum; those recommendations now needed to be implemented.  The possibilities of investigating cases of abuse were very limited.  There was a need to engage in public outreach to ensure that all Central Africans knew about agreements and pacts and could identify with them.  The Government hoped that disarmament would become a reality and was doing its utmost to prepare the ground for elections.  The Minister hoped to restore the authority of traditional chiefs which would help in overcoming local conflicts, and would create a basis for lasting peace.



Documentation

The Council has before it the Report of the Independent Expert on the enhancement of capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights (A/HRC/29/49)

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Côte d’Ivoire

Statement by the Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Côte d’Ivoire

MOHAMMED AYAT, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire, presenting his report, thanked Ivorian authorities and representatives of civil society for their frank and constructive collaboration.  The general mood in the country was bound with the approaching presidential elections in October 2015.  The country was already getting in the atmosphere of a pre-election campaign.  Mr. Ayat congratulated the authorities for having abolished the death penalty.  The Government had also introduced laws to deal with serious human rights violations, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The same laws also dealt with the command responsibility in the context of war crimes, and excluded those persons from the possibility of amnesty.  A national commission had been established to provide remedy and reparations to the victims of the post-election crisis.   The prosecution of those who committed human rights violations during the post-electoral crisis of 2011 had gained speed.  However, the international community had to be very mindful about the manner in which the mentioned progress was proceeding. 

As for the process of social rehabilitation of former combatants, significant progress had been made.  However, the short duration of the stages of re-adaptation risked the positive impact of the process.  The Ivoirian authorities also confirmed that the process of disarmament was ongoing.  The dialogue between the Government and the opposition continued without interruption, and the National Electoral Commission was revising electoral lists and taking measures to facilitate inscription on those lists.  During the current pre-electoral campaign period, the authorities should ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, notably freedom of expression and the right to free association and assembly.  Issues that required further attention were: adoption of a law on the protection of witnesses; implement procedures for exhumations; ensure maximum respect for customs and beliefs of the concerned population; parity between women and men; insertion of women in leadership positions; and ensuring that the National Human Rights Commission operated in an independent manner and that it had sufficient funds at its disposal. 

Statement by the Concerned Country

Côte d’Ivoire, speaking as the concerned country, said there were no illegal detention centres in the country, and that persons held in police posts within military units were detained legally and for justified reasons.  Allegations by the Independent Expert relating to the arbitrary detention of two men in military camps therefore deserved further details for investigation.  The Government had recently taken measures to return university facilities back to the service of the students after the last combatants had left the premises.  Sensitization, education and formation on human rights of youth and women organizations was considered important by the Government, which was organizing local caravans in this regard.  The Government had decided to allocate appropriate resources to the Special Unit of Inquiry, and the work carried out by this body was satisfying.  The Government adopted in April 2014 a plan to reduce pregnancies in the school environment, which set up the creation of a club for fighting against early pregnancies and sexually transmissible diseases, and to promote sexual and reproductive health in schools.  Côte d’Ivoire then stressed that its National Human Rights Institution was independent and worked in accordance with the Paris Principles.  Recommendations made by the Independent Expert were for the most part being implemented or had already been implemented.  Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the Independent Expert’s call on the international community to further support its efforts towards strengthening the rule of law, good governance and human security. 

Interactive Dialogue on Côte d’Ivoire

European Union welcomed the cooperation of Côte d’Ivoire with the Independent Expert and the progress it had made in judicial reforms.  It encouraged the country to ensure that all crimes were prosecuted regardless of political affiliation, and to provide reparations to victims.  The electoral process should allow all political parties to express their views.  Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the positive evolution of the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and encouraged the Government to consolidate that progress and to integrate more women in decision-making.  Canada expressed satisfaction with the progress made to achieve reconciliation and to fight impunity.  It called on the international community to assist Côte d’Ivoire in the organization of free and fair presidential elections. 


For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC15/095E