News / Africa

Amnesty: Ivory Coast’s Ouattara Giving 'Green Light' to Violence

Supporters of Alassane Ouattara point to what they say are the burnt remains of three alleged soldiers loyal to president Laurent Gbagbo, in the Abobo district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo - March 7, 2011)
Supporters of Alassane Ouattara point to what they say are the burnt remains of three alleged soldiers loyal to president Laurent Gbagbo, in the Abobo district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast (File Photo - March 7, 2011)

A new Amnesty International report says war crimes have been committed on both sides of the political divide during Ivory Coast's violent post-election standoff. 

A group from Amnesty International spent about two months in Ivory Coast, speaking to witnesses of a power struggle that erupted after last November’s disputed presidential election.

Amnesty International deputy director for Africa Véronique Aubert says forces loyal to former leader Laurent Gbagbo have carried out war crimes. That is also true, she says, of forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the incumbent president.

"We know that they have executed hundreds of men of all age on political and ethnic grounds," said Aubert. "We know that women have been raped. There are quite a lot of testimonies in the report, including on sexual violence."

Amnesty’s investigations focused on crimes carried out in and around Duékoué, a town about 500 kilometers from the capital, Abidjan.

She says the U.N. Operations in Ivory Coast, or UNOCI, failed to protect the population from the mass killings and rape that took place there in March.

"We all know that a lot of this happened when the United Nations operation was very close by, just a kilometer away from the killings in Duékoué," she said. "The UNOCI was not acting and was not protecting the population the way it had to."

And Aubert says the violence is continuing. The Amnesty report says in the first weeks of May attacks were carried out against villages inhabited by people believed to be sympathetic to Gbagbo.

Ouattara has promised to reconcile the two sides of the divide and has asked the International Criminal Court to probe allegations of serious crimes during the crisis.

But Aubert says Ouattara needs to do more by publicly condemning violence carried out by the force he set up in March, the Ivory Coast Republican Forces.

"It is his responsibility to exercise strict control over the armed forces and to call for an immediate end to the reprisals," she said. "He is the president and that is why we are asking him to publicly condemn those violations and control his forces.

The crisis in Ivory Coast was partially quelled last month when Gbagbo, who had refused to step down following the disputed election, was captured.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid