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Côte d'Ivoire is inspiring example of UN peacekeeping success, country’s leader tells Assembly

The President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, today cited the success of United Nations peacekeeping operations in his West African country as an inspiration for the world Organization to increase its initiatives.

“The lessons of this peacekeeping operation, recognized as one of the rare successes of our world Organization in maintaining peace over the past several decades must inspire the United Nations further in initiatives in favour of peace,” he told the 72nd annual General Assembly general debate on its second day.

The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), which in 2011 helped restore legitimacy and stability along with French forces after violence broke out in the wake of an electoral crisis, with up to 7,000 uniformed personnel in the country, completed its mandate in June.

Turning to the issue of terrorism, Mr. Ouattara said that despite some encouraging operations in the Middle East, the world is struggling to find a satisfactory response in Africa. “These successes will remain empty and the terrorist threat a constant worry if Africa continues to be the soft under-belly of world terrorism,” he said.

He called for international support for the Security Council-endorsed G5 Sahel group, comprising Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, which is slated to deploy its first joint force next month to combat terrorism and drugs, arms and human trafficking throughout Africa’s sub-Saharan Sahel region.