Jeune Afrique: The presidential election will take place on 25 October. How do you approach this deadline?
Aïchatou Mindaoudou: They represent a turning point for Côte d'Ivoire, a turning point that can demonstrate, if they were going well that the country has returned to normal. That's why it is essential that they take within the prescribed period, but also that they are inclusive, democratic and accepted by all. This is for Ivorians to exorcise the 2010-2011 crisis. During my tours inside the country, I could see that people want to turn the page on a decade of crisis. They do not want to relive their experiences. They yearn for peace and development. That's what people tell me every day. To not go back, it is necessary that politicians commit to play the game of democracy and law.
What about the security situation?
She has improved a lot since 2010. The situation is calm but still remains unpredictable. The attacks that took place in the West , particularly in the Grabo triangle, Fete, olodio were reduced drastically and are not able to harm the territorial integrity of Côte d'Ivoire. Moreover, they are much more related to land issues as a purely security aspect.
Exactly, she has settled the land issue?
No. Conflicts over land persist, but I think the 1998 Act as amended in 2014 sets the conditions for the deal. The problem is that it was not sufficiently publicized so that people know how to act when confronted with such problems.
DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) coming to an end. A he fulfilled his mission?
Yes. At present, nearly 80% of the combatants were demobilized. The Ivory Coast is one of the countries where the DDR process was the most effective. What we found here is unique. While it is possible that at the end of June, a remnant fighters missing but may be absorbed in a few months.
According to the UN experts , 3-5 000 ex-combatants still refuse to participate and have retained their weapons. Do they represent a threat?
This figure surprised. I have never been informed by
Government efforts for political dialogue are they sufficient?
There are about two years, political dialogue got stuck. The government was forced to make great efforts, concessions for it to resume. Political opposition parties also. The dialogue allowed to settle substantive issues. The REIT before its current dissensions , had asked a number of conditions relating to prisoners, occupied residences, frozen accounts reintegration of state agents. Many of their demands have been accepted. Dialogue is a process and sustained efforts must be made of both sides to move it forward.
But members of the FPI , close to Abu Dramane Sangare, have been held for over a month ...
You have to put these events in context. I can do it because I am personally intervened with the government and the fringe of the REIT . Everything started from the decision to Pascal Affi N'Guessan to complain. Justice has ruled in its favor . The government considered that it was him to implement it. By cons, this segment of the REIT to be respected, for some reason, neither the court nor the legal and regulatory provisions on demonstrations. That's the main problem. Democracy is a set of rights and duties such as the duty of every citizen to respect the existing legal framework even if one is not satisfied. This is what guarantees everyone the enjoyment of the rights granted him. The respect of the legal framework also applies to the government especially when it arrests.
What is your reaction to the creation of the Coalition for Change (CNC)?
The CNC is in a legal framework. It is a sign of vitality of Ivorian democracy. The United Nations will always continue to call for an inclusive democratic process and for a variety of expression.
As there has been a trial of the pro-Gbagbo suspected of crimes, should there be a trial supporters of President Alassane Ouattara who are in the same situation?
We had repeatedly called on the government to a fair trial, that investigations be speeded up but they are inconclusive. According to my colleagues of the Division of Human Rights, the authorities gave firm instructions to judges to expedite all investigations, including when they concern people considered close to the government. On May 7, 9 FRCI, including former comzones who now occupy important positions, were summoned before the investigating judge. The same judge heard Dozo. I note that there is a political will to ensure that those who have committed serious crimes in both camps for their actions. This political will must materialize. This is a priority for the UN. We need the truth for victims. We call also on the report of the CDVR made in December 2014. It also requires that the government adopt a law put in place to protect witnesses.
The Head of State said recently he hoped UNOCI gradually withdraws from Côte d'Ivoire. Do you share his view?
It is a process that is done in agreement with the authorities. Discussions are underway to establish the withdrawal schedule after the elections. Downsizing of UNOCI began two years ago on the basis of the UN resolution. In the opinion of the members of the Security Council, the Ivory Coast is again becoming stable and the presence of a mission of peacekeeping will be required after the elections, if they are going well. Last year, we reduced our troops from 1,500 military, civilian personnel by 10%. Ditto this year. We will gradually downsize until the elections of October to reach a force of about 5,300 soldiers and 1,500 police officers. We have moved from a static posture to a more dynamic posture. We are thus able to intervene on any part of the Ivorian territory if necessary to protect civilians.