GENEVA, Switzerland, June 13 (UPI) -- Ivorians should work to ensure the climate is ripe for national reconciliation despite the recent escalation in violence, a U.N envoy said.
Peacekeepers with the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast were attacked last week while on patrol near the Liberian border. The mission said an undetermined number of Ivorians were killed along with seven members of the peacekeeping unit.
Doudou Diene, a U.N. independent expert on the rights situation in Ivory Coast, said the attack presents a significant challenge to the country and to members of the international community.
"The Ivorian people, despite the sense of insecurity created by this attack, should respond by renewing (their) commitment to national reconciliation, strengthening democratic pluralism, the impartiality of the justice system and the economic and social recovery of the country," he said in a statement.
A U.N. report this year said the situation Ivory Coast was complicated by a lack of reform in the security sector and difficulties in establishing unified authority over the whole control.
Human Rights Watch said last week that rebel fighters in the country remained loyal to forces fighting in opposition to Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
Former President Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity during a post-election crisis in Ivory Coast in 2010. The fallout from the election pushed the country to the brink of civil war.
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