UN forces in Cote d'Ivoire on high alert following post-poll chaos   2013-04-26 17:50:35            

ABIDJAN, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The forces of the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI) are on "high alert" following a wave of violence that erupted after the announcement of the local election results, a source from the mission said on Thursday.

"The UN soldiers and the police units will remain on high alert and will maintain the high levels of vigilance," the ONUCI spokesperson Sylvie van den Wildenberg said when she addressed the press in Abidjan.

Some 9,500 UN soldiers and 1,500 UN police were mobilized to support Cote d'Ivoire's forces in providing security during Sunday's municipal and regional elections. This was exclusive of other "reserve forces" who were placed on standby just in case of a major incident.

"We have been on high alert since Sunday and we shall continue monitoring the situation," Wildenberg said.

She said that the UN had already intervened in various localities across the country where violence had broken out.

A wave of violenct incidents followed the announcement of election results by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), especially in districts within Abidjan and Yamoussoukro (230 km from Abidjan) as well as in the northern parts of the country.

"ONUCI would like to condemn acts of vandalism and violent protests witnessed since the end of the elections, and would also like to appeal for calm, respect for the people's choices and the rule of law," the spokesperson said.

She reminded the electoral losers and their supporters that "the only way to contest the elections was through the courts of law."

The UN mission further called on CEI to "announce as soon as possible" the remaining results of the local elections.

CEI announced that before releasing all the results, it will need to verify the vote tallies in various constituencies, especially in Treichville (Abidjan), Cavally (west), Doropo (north- east), Kongasso and Mankono (north) where vote tallying was disrupted.

The local elections were conducted peacefully but without a huge turnout, and they were boycotted by the Cote d'Ivoire Popular Front (FPI), the party of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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