James Bevan
Weapon specialist and conflict analyst
James Bevan
The Conflict in Côte d'Ivoire, 2009

September 2002 witnessed the conquest by a rebel group, the Forces nouvelles, of the northern half of Côte d'Ivoire. Following widespread violence between the Forces nouvelles  and the southern government, the United Nations Security Council, by its resolution 1572 (2004), imposed an embargo on the export of arms to any party within the territory of Côte d'Ivoire.

My role as arms expert on the Group of Experts was to investigate any potential breaches of the arms embargo destined for either the southern government forces or the northern Forces nouvelles.

During the 2009 mandate, I discovered 7 breaches of the embargo, including the importation of military vehicles, communications equipment, uniforms and significant imports of weapons and ammunition.

This was the first time that a comparative weapons and ammunition tracing methodology, which I had first developed in my work among among the Turkana, had been employed in a UN sanctions investigation.

In December 2009, I was appointed head of the Group of Experts on Côte d'Ivoire.

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© James Bevan