UN calls for reduction in I Coast force

2012-07-19 12:16

New York - The United Nations envoy to Ivory Coast is calling for the UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast to be reduced by one battalion as a result of progress in the past year in improving security, especially in the main city Abidjan.

Albert Koenders said this would mean a reduction of about 750 troops in a force of slightly over 9 000.

He told reporters after briefing the Security Council on Wednesday that the reduction is important because it would demonstrate "that we see progress, and there is an increased responsibility of the government of Ivory Coast".

Ivory Coast was brought to the brink of civil war when Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing a November 2010 presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo was arrested and Ouattara became president in May 2011.