In the world of UN peacekeeping, a successful mission is one that gradually moves toward its own dissolution. In that light, there is good news coming out of Cote d’Ivoire. From the UN News Centre:
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire has now dismantled almost all of its military observation posts in the former zone of confidence separating the Government-held and rebel-controlled areas of the country as part of last year’s accord ending active hostilities between the two sides.
Only two of the original 17 observation posts built inside the zone in the West African country remain operational, according to Colonel Mustapha Dafir, the military spokesperson for the mission, which is known as UNOCI.
This follows the UN’s handover of disarmament responsibilities to the Ivorian national government and represents another step toward securing the full peace and reconciliation that UNOCI is tasked with helping the country achieve. In meeting the benchmarks set out in a 2007 peace accord, UNOCI provides a good example of the path that UN peacekeeping missions aim to follow — a path that includes forming a transitional government and holding elections later this year and that will lead to the drawing down, and eventual departure, of the peacekeeping force.