News / Africa

Gbagbo Supporters Reported at Risk of Reprisals

UN peacekeeper in Ivory Coast
UN peacekeeper in Ivory Coast


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

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs