News / Africa

    HRW: Gbagbo Security Forces Committing Gross Rights Violations in Ivory Coast

    People fearing for their safety evacuate the Abobo district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, February 24, 2011
    People fearing for their safety evacuate the Abobo district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, February 24, 2011
    Anne Look

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) says African Union mediators in Ivory Coast should work to end what it calls "gross violations of human rights" by security forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, as violence continues to escalate in the country's commercial capital and troubled western region.

    The United Nations Mission to Ivory Coast said Thursday that Ivorian troops clashed with northern rebels early Thursday in the country's west near the border with Liberia.

    The U.N. Mission said this fighting constitutes a breach of a cease-fire agreement made six years ago and marks an escalation of the crisis now nearing the end of its third month.

    Sporadic fighting between supporters of the country's rival presidents, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, continues in the country's commercial capital, Abidjan.

    Human Rights Watch says it has documented killings and abductions by President Gbagbo's security forces in the past few days.

    An armed group loyal to Mr. Ouattara has claimed responsibility for an attack on government forces in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan on Tuesday in which it says 27 people were killed.  The government army denies that claim and says only one soldier was killed.

    Hundreds of residents could be seen fleeing the city's Abobo neighborhood Thursday where residents reported more gunfire.

    Incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, has refused to step down following a presidential run-off in November, which the United Nations and the country's electoral commission said he lost to rival, Mr. Ouattara.

    Mr. Gbagbo's government says a constitutional council investigation concluded that Mr. Gbagbo won the election.

    A high-level African Union delegation met with both men in Abidjan this week and is expected to announce its plans for resolving the political stand-off in the next five days.

    Human Rights Watch is calling on those African leaders to enter these final days of mediation with "eyes wide open" to what it says is an ongoing "campaign of violence" by President Gbagbo's security forces against Mr. Ouattara's supporters, members of ethnic groups from northern Ivory Coast, Muslims and immigrants from neighboring countries.

    HRW researcher, Matt Wells, says attacks on these real and perceived Ouattara supporters continue to escalate.

    "In recent days, we have documented that they have continued to commit some really grave abuses against real and perceived supporters [of Ouattara], including firing live rounds and even rocket-propelled grenades into crowds of mostly peaceful demonstrators, as well as abducting people from an Abidjan hospital during the light of the day, their bodies later found by family members in a morgue," said Wells.

    Human Rights Watch says African Union mediators should call for end to human rights abuses and the incitement to violence on both sides.

    November's presidential election was meant to reunite the country following a 2002-2003 civil war. Instead, it led to a political crisis that has only deepened divisions and looks dangerously close to reigniting the conflict.

    Human Rights Watch says it has documented fresh recruitment by both forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara rebel fighters.

    "In Abidjan itself, there has been heavy recruitment by those loyal to Gbagbo of new militias as well as mercenaries, particularly from Liberia, but Forces Nouvelles, the long-time rebel army under the control of Guillaume Soro, has likewise recruited," added Wells.  "They have remobilized the vast majority of those that were demobilized after the conflict. There has been a real escalation in recent weeks of preparing on both sides should civil war resume."

    The United Nations says post-electoral violence has killed nearly 300 people and prompted at least 35,000 Ivorians to flee to neighboring Liberia.

    You May Like

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

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    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

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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