UN peacekeepers call for calm as violence mars voter registration appeals process in Cote d'Ivoire

11:24, February 06, 2010      

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The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire has deplored recent violence in the towns of Katiola and Divo and appealed for calm as the voter registration appeals process for the upcoming elections takes place, UN officials said here Friday.

The appeals process is currently underway in preparation for the publication of the final voters list, a vital step in the process toward the holding of the West African nation's long- delayed presidential polls.

The UN mission, known as UNOCI, "encourages all the parties to work to resolve the issues while respecting their respective prerogatives," said a news release issued by UNOCI, calling upon everyone to exercise self-control to preserve and consolidate the "remarkable" achievements made in the electoral process.

Originally intended to be held as far back as 2005, the polls have been repeatedly postponed. Last scheduled for November 2009, they are now slated for March.

As part of its continued support for the electoral process, the mission has recently provided generators and fuel to monitoring committees, which will allow them to continue their work without being affected by power cuts.

In addition, it will hold the next round of "UNOCI days" on Feb. 10-12 in Bocanda. The event will include free medical consultations, workshops, and sports and cultural activities as part of the UN mission's efforts to inform the local population about the holding of peaceful elections.

Last week, the UN Security Council extended UNOCI's mandate through May 31 to help Cote d'Ivoire stage free, fair and transparent elections, a crucial benchmark for the West African country, which was split into a rebel-held north and government- controlled south by civil war in 2002

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