The UNOCI says it is not shielding Charles Goude or any other political detainee.
The UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire, UNOCI, has said that it will not interfere with judicial proceedings concerning the country’s post-election crisis.
This was contained in a statement by UNOCI’s spokesman, Kadidia Ledron, in Abidjan on Monday.
The statement is in reaction to comments in some quarters that Charles Goude, a strong ally of former President Laurent Gbagbo, is in the custody of the mission.
Mr. Goude, currently in detention in Cote d’Ivoire, spent more than 18 months in hiding before his arrest in January 2013 in Ghana.
The ICC in December 2013 issued an arrest warrant on Mr. Goude for alleged crime against humanity committed during the post-election crisis that rocked the country.
Meanwhile, the UNOCI statement described the comments as “untrue and an act of mere smear campaign”.
“The UN mission categorically denies this allegation, it has no basis. The mission wishes to state that it did not receive Goude or any other political detainee.
“The headquarters of the UNOCI is not a branch office of the ICC in Côte d’Ivoire, it does not serve as a detention centre for political detainees,’’ it said.
The statement said that the UN mission remained committed towards carrying out its responsibilities as contained in the mandate given to it by the Security Council.
“The mission remains committed in its mandate to protect civilians and promote human rights,’’ it said.
It said that the UNOCI would continue to be transparent and impartial in its activities towards the consolidation of peace and national reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire.
The statement also called on journalists to be more objective and thorough in the discharge of their duties to avoid misinforming the public.
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