News / Africa

    Amnesty Report Condemns Persecution of Gbagbo Supporters

    An injured supporter of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo reacts outside the premises of Hotel Golf, where Gbagbo was being held after his arrest, in Abidjan, April 11, 2011.
    An injured supporter of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo reacts outside the premises of Hotel Golf, where Gbagbo was being held after his arrest, in Abidjan, April 11, 2011.
    Amnesty International is accusing Ivory Coast’s government of using the courts and security forces to persecute supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo - who is facing a possible trial before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Amnesty's report is the latest voice of concern that there is one-sided justice, following the country’s recent post-election conflict.

    Tensions continue to run high in Ivory Coast nearly two years since the end of post-election violence that began after Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept that he had lost the 2010 election to Alassane Ouattara, the current president.

    More than 3,000 people died during six months of combat and fighters loyal to both men allegedly committed war crimes.

    To make matters worse, a wave of attacks began last August by unidentified gunmen on security installations throughout the country. In response, Amnesty International says President Ouattara’s security forces rounded up hundreds of Gbagbo supporters, many of whom were subjected to ill-treatment and torture.

    In a new report this week, Amnesty says the most extreme methods of abuse were electric shock and the burning of detainees’ bodies with molten plastic.

    Gaëtan Mootoo, the Amnesty researcher who authored the report, says the security forces’ behavior is an example of so-called victor’s justice. To date, only Gbagbo supporters have been arrested and detained in connection with the post-election violence, despite the fact that rights groups have also implicated many high-level Ouattara backers in abuse.

    “There can’t be reconciliation without proper justice," he said. "These people, I mean everybody knows them. We can’t say, ‘Where are they?’ Everybody knows them. And, even some of them have been targeted by the U.N. and their names are known and they could easily be identified.”

    Mootoo says the problems facing the country have been especially visible in the west, where Ouattara’s army has apparently teamed up with traditional hunters, known as dozos, to provide security. Ever since the conflict ended, Gbagbo supporters have complained of violations ranging from arbitrary arrests to extrajudicial killings in the region.

    Last July, a camp for displaced persons was overrun by an angry mob in the western town of Duekoue. Like other human rights groups, Amnesty says it is clear that dozos and soldiers were involved in the attack, which killed at least eight people.

    Mootoo notes that, given the one-sided nature of the judiciary for the past two years, there is no reason to expect a credible investigation from the national courts. The new Amnesty report calls for an international commission of inquiry into the attack on the camp - what may be the most significant incident of violence against civilians since the post-election conflict ended.

    “Of course, they told us that they have opened an inquiry. But, at the same time, they have done that on other, similar cases and we haven’t seen anything yet. This is why we are asking for an international commission of inquiry," he said.

    In a written response to Amnesty, Ivorian authorities do not address specific allegations laid out in the report. Ivorian authorities have previously vowed to bring to justice all perpetrators of crimes both during and after the conflict, regardless of political affiliation.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora