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World Refugee Day 2002: Côte d'Ivoire

World Refugee Day 2002: Côte d'Ivoire

20 June 2002

Chris Clark, British programme manager for UNMACC-South Lebanon, uses models to explain the different types of munitions found in southern Lebanon.

A mission composed of the NGO VAFAG ("Vision et action des femmes africaines contre les guerres), the Ministry for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS, and UNHCR toured around the refugee-hosting areas of Tabou / Guiglo and Danané from 9 to 18 June. The delegation gave lectures to the local and refugee population on the theme: "The integration of the refugee women and girls and the importance of their involvement in the restoration of peace and the battle against HIV/AIDS."

On 13 June, a training course on refugee protection was held for journalists. In Guiglo, a conference on international refugee protection was attended by refugees, the police, the army, delegates from the prefecture and the education department on 14 June. On 18 June, a conference on international protection was held specifically for the refugees in Nicla refugee site. It focused in particular on education and freedom of movement.

On 19 June, a public conference was held at the Goethe Institute on "Armed conflicts and their repercussions on neighbouring countries with fragile economies". A lecture was given by Prof. Djiena Wembou Michel, who specialises in military strategies and defence issues.

In Tabou, 20 June started with a religious ceremony at the church, followed by a procession of refugees and the local population through town. A ceremony was held, and poems, songs, folkloric dances and sketches lightened up the day, as well as an exhibition of drawings by refugee children (theme: "refugee integration.") Refugees displayed their handmade materials. A football match between refugee and local women ended the day.

On 20 June, a ceremony was held at Nicla refugee site and attended by the refugees, the prefects from Guiglo, Danané and Toulépleu, and UNHCR. The day was celebrated with dance, play, music, and sports.

"On est ensemble," a two-hour discussion programme with the participation of the government and UNHCR, focused on UNHCR's mandate, the refugee convention, the journey of a refugee, the rights and obligations of the state/ refugee. It was broadcast on 13 and 16 June to nearly four million viewers.

A ceremony was held on 20 June at the Palais de la Culture, Abidjan. The Minister of Defence and Civil Protection made the official opening. Activities included performances by refugees,followed by an exhibition of items made by refugees, and tasting of ethnic food prepared by refugees.

A concert was held at the Palais de La Culture. The event was attended by over 1,000 people. Performers included very impressive Burundian drummers, Rwandese dancers, Congolese singers, traditional Zouglou and Mapouka groups and internationally renowned Alice Sofa, Mawa Traoré, and Adama Dahico.