News / Africa

Ivory Coast: A Call for Return of Rule of Law

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

As mediators seek a solution to the political crisis in Ivory Coast, Amnesty International says the protection of human rights should be at the heart of their efforts.

ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, has sent mediators to meet with the rival presidents Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.  The U.N. says Ouattara won the recent election.  But Mr. Gbagbo refuses to step down.

In Paris, Amnesty International Salavtore Sagues addressed the mediation efforts and the role of the U.N. force in Ivory Coast (UNOCI).

He says, “We are calling effectively the mediators of the ECOWAS to focus on the human rights situation because during…December we have seen that segments of the population have been attacked either by security forces or by militiamen loyal to Laurent Gbagbo.  And these people are without any protection.”

The human rights group says it has documented cases of extrajudicial killings of unarmed people by security forces during a protest march.  It also cites cases of beatings and abductions of people whose whereabouts remain unknown.

Sagues adds, “The only people that could protect them are the peacekeepers of the UNOCI.  And as you know, UNOCI has been prevented notably from investigating allegations of mass graves and other human rights violations.”

Amnesty is calling on mediators to take specific steps.

“One, to ensure that UNOCI is able to carry out its (U.N.) mandate of protection and investigation on human rights violations.                                                     And secondly, that there is a final sign sent to the population telling them that they will be protected against the people who are abducting them, killing them or arresting them arbitrarily,” says Sagues.

Military response?

But can Amnesty’s recommendations be carried out without some sort of military intervention?

The Amnesty researcher says, “We have no position on a military intervention.  But…you have some 10,000 peacekeepers in Ivory Coast and from what we hear from the UNOCI, is that it is not a problem so much for the time being of a number of people, but of their freedom of movement.  Several times they were either attacked or prevented from going to several places to investigate allegations.”

Sagues says initially ECOWAS was “quite strong” in its position on Ivory Coast.

“I think that the political settlement is something that will be settled in one way or another. We are strongly convinced that to get a lasting solution of this crisis we need to restore the rule of law in the country where for the last 10 years there has been impunity for human rights violations committed by both sides,” he says.

He says without justice and the prosecution of human rights abusers, “we are very concerned that Cote d’Ivoire won’t find a lasting solution for this crisis.”

The United Nations says at least 173 people have been killed in post-election violence and more than 14,000 people have fled the country, mostly to Liberia.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs