News / Africa

Gbagbo Supporters Reported at Risk of Reprisals

UN peacekeeper in Ivory Coast
UN peacekeeper in Ivory Coast

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

A human rights group says supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo are at risk of violent reprisals. Amnesty International is calling on Ivoirians to abstain from all forms of violence.

“We have been receiving in the last few days very worrying reports about reprisal attacks against perceived or real supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, both in Abidjan and in the west of the country,” said Salvatore Sagues, Amnesty’s researcher on Ivory Coast.

Alleged attacks

“Yesterday, in Abidjan, we have heard about people wearing military uniforms conducting house-to-house searches in neighborhoods where people loyal to Laurent Gbagbo are living,” he said.

The alleged incidents occurred in Yopougon and Koumassi neighborhoods, among others.

Sagues said, “In one case, a policeman was taken out of his house and killed at point blank range in front of the population.”

Amnesty said it is also receiving reports of violence against civilians in the west.

“We learned, for example, in the village called Zikisso last Sunday, people loyal to Alassane Ouattara attacked the village and the village chief was abducted yesterday and is reportedly held in another town,” he said.

Amnesty has also reported attacks against civilians in Duekoue, where 27,000 people have sought shelter at a Catholic mission.

“They are very afraid to return home because they’re afraid of reprisals,” he said.

Aid agencies are registering those at the mission, but Amnesty said that hasn’t stopped the harassment.

“We have two delegates there. Effectively, the people have been registered, but the sanitation conditions are very poor. For example, there is only one well and water is running out now. So there are long queues of people trying to fetch some water. And it is urgent that these people get another shelter where they can live in a much more comfortable way,” Sagues said.

He said the civilians must be reassured they will be protected by U.N. forces and added that UNOCI [the U.N. Operations in Ivory Coast] has a Security Council mandate to do so.

Ouattara calls for calm

President Ouattara has called on all Ivoirians to abstain from violence.

“We welcome the call of President Ouattara, but what we see on the ground is that these orders are not being obeyed. So we are again calling [on] President Ouattara to reassert that the people will be protected. That his forces who may be responsible for abuses will be tried and punished,” said Sagues.

Amnesty has also harshly criticized supporters of Mr. Gbagbo over recent months.

“Now, effectively with the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, of course, the supporters of…Gbagbo are in a less powerful situation. But we are asking for people loyal to…Gbagbo who have committed very serious violations in the past also to be tried and prosecuted,” he said.

Amnesty said Mr. Gbagbo and his family should be treated according to due process of law.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs