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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid