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Angola: Ambassador Meets With Cotê d’Ivoire Official

Abidjan

Angolan ambassador to Cotê d’Ivoire, Gilberto Buta Lutucuta, Saturday in Abidjan, met with the vice president of the local ruling FPI party, Ehivet Gbagbo, with whom he exchanged views on the situation in that West Africa country.

According to a note from the Embassy of Angola to Cotê d’Ivoire that reached Angop, during the meeting Gilberto Lutucuta briefed the FPI politician about the situation in Angola, with highlight to the legislative elections set for September 5 this year.

The Angolan diplomat also transmitted some of the country’s experiences in overcoming situations like the ones facing Cotê d’Ivoire

Gilberto Buta Lutucuta reaffirmed the readiness of Angola to help Cotê d’Ivoire to overcome the crisis prevailing there and hold elections as planned.

In response, Ehivet Gbagbo, who is also the head of FPI parliamentary bench, said Angola is a friend, a brother and an allied to Cotê d’Ivoire, having recognised the solidarity extended to her country.

She added that she believes Angola learned from its experience of the past and is ready to assist Cote d’Ivoire out of the crisis.

According to her, the ruling party in her country is doing its best towards the stabilisation of the country, mainly concerning assistance to the most needy populations.

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From All-Africa

August 11, 2008-

The United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire has handed over 150 electoral kits to the Government to assist in preparations for presidential elections slated for November this year.

The equipment will be used for voter identification and registration. The mission, known as UNOCI, will also assist in the recruitment and training of identification agents, as well as the rehabilitation of some 70 identification centres across the country.

The supply of the equipment marked the determination of UNOCI “to join the partners in working for the rapid launch of the identification operations, which are crucial to the preparation and organization of the elections,” the Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Abou Moussa, said as he handed over the equipment yesterday.

Last month the Security Council extended UNOCI’s mandate by six months, stressing the importance that the much delayed presidential elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner. The elections were originally supposed to have been held in 2005 in the West African country.

The 15-member panel asked the mission to provide logistical support to the national Independent Electoral Commission as it prepares for the elections.

It also called on UNOCI to continue its support of the implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement, the 2007 political accord reached in neighbouring Burkina Faso that aims to reconcile Côte d’Ivoire’s Government and the rebel Forces Nouvelles.

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Kickoff (Cape Town)

10 August 2008
Posted to the web 11 August 2008

The Ivory Coast bounced back from their ill-deserved opening defeat to Argentina to revive their Olympic hopes with a thrilling 4-2 win over Serbia in Shanghai.

The Ivorians now lie second, three points behind the already-qualified Argentinia and two in front of both the Serbs and Australia, a victory over whom would now guarantee Gerard Gili’s side a place in the last eight.

In an open, end-to-end match full of attacking enterprise, the Elephants raced into an early lead, the lively Gervinho embarking on a fourth-minute run that ended in him setting up Sekou Cisse for the Roda star’s second goal at Beijing 2008.

Serbia remained dangerous, however, and within 11 minutes they were level, Miljan Mrdakovic finishing brilliantly following a delightful pass from Alexsandar Zivkovic.

The crowd were loving every minute, and they had another goal to cheer just 10 minutes later when the unfortunate Slobodan Rajkovic headed through his own goal from an Ivorian corner.

Re-establishing their lead appeared to relax the Ivorians in the second half and, after Kalou had struck the crossbar with a fine effort, the Chelsea striker finally scored his first Olympic goal. It came with 20 minutes remaining, a neat combination with Gervinho providing Kalou with the opening to fire home a right-footed shot.

That, we all assumed, was that, but then in the last minute of normal time, Djorde Rakic popped up to spark a dramatic finish with a well-placed header.

Any doubt over the outcome was removed for good, however, when Gervinho struck deep into injury time to edge Ivory Coast to within one more victory of a place in the quarterfinals. Serbia, meanwhile, must now beat Argentina to have any hope of advancing to the last eight.

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The sites around Côte d’Ivoire’s biggest city where hundreds of tons of toxic waste were illegally dumped two years ago have still not been decontaminated and continue to threaten the health of residents, a United Nations human rights expert warned today.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes, said many residents of Abidjan complain of headaches, skin lesions, digestive difficulties and nose, throat and lung problems.

In a statement issued after a week-long visit to the West African country, Mr. Ibeanu said that decontaminating the seven sites around Abidjan where the waste was dumped must be a priority.

“The people of Abidjan need urgent assistance,” he said. “After two years, they continue to live in precarious conditions and their right to a healthy and safe environment continues to be violated.”

At least 16 people were killed and tens of thousands other were sickened or affected in August 2006 when hundreds of tons of toxic waste were dumped after the Probo Koala ship, which began its journey in the Netherlands, unloaded in Abidjan.

Mr. Ibeanu said he was particularly concerned about the situation of women, many of whom have complained of an increase in premature births, early menopause and miscarriages.

Ivorian authorities told the Special Rapporteur this week that they do not have the technical capacity to quickly decontaminate the sites, and he urged the international community to provide immediate technical assistance.

Mr. Ibeanu also said much more needs to be done to compensate the victims, as many have reported that they have not been able to register for funds or they have not received adequate amounts. Others have not received any money at all.

“Many victims, apart from feeling the direct threat to their health, have also had to leave their homes and businesses,” he said. “Some have returned to their homes and businesses and continue to live and work next to these toxic waste dumps. They do not have the means to relocate or rebuild their businesses elsewhere. The Government needs to do more for its people.”

He added that health ministry officials should carry out a survey of the affected population and provide urgent medical assistance to those who need it, including by setting up intensive care units in hospitals to treat victims.

As part of his investigations, Mr. Ibeanu plans to travel to the Netherlands later this year to speak with Trafigura, the company concerned with the Probo Koala.

He stressed that the Ivorian Government should intensify its pursuit of criminal proceedings against both individuals and corporations implicated in the dumping.

“This is to send a signal to other transnational corporations and individuals that such crimes will not go unpunished and that Africa is not a cheap dumping ground. The victims must get the justice they deserve.”

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8 August 2008 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is helping authorities in Côte d’Ivoire vaccinate nearly 2 million people in the country’s largest city against a yellow fever outbreak.WHO is providing technical assistance to the Health Ministry campaign, which targets an estimated 1.94 million residents of Abidjan this month, according to a news update released today by the agency. It is the first mass immunization scheme in the city against yellow fever since 2001.

The campaign is also being supported by the public-private Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), WHO reported.

The agency sent two experts to Cote d’Ivoire in June to assess the public health situation after the outbreak was confirmed by laboratory testing in May.

Yellow fever, which is spread by mosquitoes, derives its name from the jaundice that affects some sufferers, who tend to experience fever, muscle pain, headaches, loss of appetite, vomiting and/or nausea. While most patients recover, the disease can be deadly and the number of infected people has risen in recent years, despite the availability of an effective vaccine.

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