Ivorian violence concern for peacekeepers

Aug. 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast said it was re-evaluating its operational requirements in the wake of a weekend attack on national forces.

The U.N. mission, known by its French initials UNOCI, confirmed four people were killed, including an Ivorian soldier, when unidentified men opened fire at a military checkpoint outside Abidjan.

A spokesman for the mission said peacekeepers were "carefully reassessing current threats and risks and operational requirements" in light of the attacks.

The mission had called on the U.N. Security Council to cut back on UNOCI's strength by one battalion. The spokesman said the mission would develop a responsible plan for reduction to ensure response capabilities weren't compromised.

Similar attacks were reported early this month. Ivorian officials suggested fighters loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo were behind some of the violence.

Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court for allegedly committing crimes against humanity during violence that followed contested 2010 presidential elections.

Human rights groups suspect forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara were behind some of the atrocities committed during the post-election crisis, however.

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