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Ouattara Spokesman: ICC Investigation of Atrocities to Begin

  • Peter Clottey

Former Ivorian Prime Minister Alasssane Ouattara

Former Ivorian Prime Minister Alasssane Ouattara

An official in former Ivorian Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara’s administration said the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) will soon send its officials to investigate what he said were atrocities committed following the 28th November presidential runoff dispute.

Patrich Achi, Minister of Infrastructure and spokesman for Mr. Ouattara, also praised U.N. peacekeepers for preventing “more bloodshed” after violent clashes between pro-Ouattara supporters and security forces backing embattled President Laurent Gbagbo.

“We are so happy that, this time, the U.N. forces went through what was really, certainly going to happen, which was, once again, bloodshed and certainly to prevent more death. We are just hoping that they will move forward with this attitude so that more and more people will get protected. I think this is the way to peace and we are certainly on a good path now,” said Achi.

The clashes that began in Abobo district, in the commercial capital, Abidjan, Tuesday continued Wednesday leaving at least 11 people dead, including policemen.

The city was calm overnight Wednesday after the army imposed a curfew on the Abobo district.

Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, who is representing the African Union, is scheduled to meet both Mr. Ouattara and Mr. Gbagbo in yet another attempt to resolve the Ivorian crisis.

But, Achi said Mr. Gbagbo should not be allowed, in his words, to keep holding Ivory Coast hostage.

“(Mr. Ouattara) is talking with so many institutions like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Criminal Court, and so many people to tell them that we have to stop this bloodshed. We don’t want any more victims. These people are killing people, but now that the U.N. forces are getting involved, maybe things will improve,” said Achi.

“They (ICC) fully agreed to send an investigation team here and I think the team will be coming in the next few weeks. And, as you know, the United Nations here in Cote d’Ivoire has started (investigating). They had hints about how it (killings) happened, where it did happen, and so on and so forth.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations says several U.N. vehicles were attacked and burned by youths loyal to Mr. Gbagbo.

The United Nations and other international bodies want Mr. Gbagbo to cede power to Mr. Ouattara, who is internationally-recognized as the winner of November's run-off election.

In another development, a U.N. official says the world body has uncovered a third mass grave in Ivory Coast.

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