Putting things in order
"Heavy weapons observed outmatching the firepower of the entire FRCI (Ivory Coast's armed forces)," wrote Raymond Debelle, coordinator of the Ivory Coast group of experts.
Debelle would not comment publicly on the letter. Kouakou did not answer repeated calls requesting comment.
Much of the hardware in the cache was manufactured between January and August 2011 and was still in packing crates, according to the letter, indicating that at least some of it was acquired after the civil war, which ended in April of that year, and after the rebels had merged into the army.
"None of this stuff was under government control," one Abidjan-based Western diplomat familiar with the UN inspection said. "You've got people within the security forces maintaining a secret stockpile of weapons. That's a problem."
The UN arms embargo on Ivory Coast began in 2004. Though the ban was loosened last year to allow selected arms imports, none of Kouakou's weapons were declared to the UN, a likely violation of the embargo.
When contacted by Reuters, Donwahi would not comment on whether the arms stocks constituted an embargo violation, saying the UN experts were continuing their investigations.
"The President of the Republic has given firm instructions to the Army Chief of Staff to place these weapons and ammunition under guard," he said. "A country that is emerging from a crisis has, indeed, many weapons in circulation, and bit by bit we will put things in order."