News / Africa

HRW: Pro-Ouattara Forces Killing Gbagbo Supporters in Ivory Coast

A pro-Outtara soldier belonging to the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast holds a rocket-propelled grenade launcher during a patrol in Fengolo, a looted village in Duekoue town, May 19, 2011 (file photo)
A pro-Outtara soldier belonging to the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast holds a rocket-propelled grenade launcher during a patrol in Fengolo, a looted village in Duekoue town, May 19, 2011 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look

Human Rights Watch says forces loyal to Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara have killed at least 149 real or perceived supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo since taking control of the commercial capital, Abidjan, in mid-April.

When the pro-Ouattara Republican Forces took Abidjan in mid-April, many hoped it would mark the end to a violent, five-month post-electoral crisis during which incumbent president Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara.

Instead, Human Rights Watch says it has documented what the group's senior West Africa researcher, Corinne Dufka, called a "pattern of very deadly reprisal killings" of individuals in Abidjan, who either supported Gbagbo or were from ethnic groups who have supported him.

"Some of these killings continued during our mission in Abidjan, which took place between the 13th and 25th [of May], which really concerns us, particularly after the consistent statements by President Ouattara that he would address these acts of indiscipline and abuses by his forces. Instead, we have seen them continuing," said Dufka.

One Abidjan resident told researchers how Republican Forces soldiers lifted his 21-year-old brother by his arms, legs, and head and slit his throat.

Another described being raped in her home by a Republican Forces commander on May 8 and then seeing his soldiers execute 18 young men from her neighborhood, after forcing them to lie on the ground in their underwear.

Dufka said the majority of individuals were killed during cordon and search operations of pro-Gbagbo neighborhoods or after having been detained in ad-hoc detention centers.

"A good number of the men who were killed were, according to witnesses, individuals that did not play an active part in politics really," said Dufka. "Many of those militiamen fled quite soon after the battle for Abidjan was over, and instead the Republican Forces seemed to have picked up a lot of these young men simply by virtue of their age and their ethnic group."

Human Rights Watch is calling on the Ouattara government to put Republican Forces commanders - both directly and indirectly implicated in killings, torture or other severe abuses - on immediate administrative leave, pending investigation and possible prosecution.

Forces loyal to both Gbagbo and Ouattara have been accused of atrocities, war crimes and human rights abuses since the crisis began.

Human Rights Watch say that pro-Gbagbo militiamen killed at least 220 people in Abidjan in the days immediately preceding and following Gbagbo’s arrest on April 11.

Ouattara has vowed repeatedly to investigate and bring perpetrators of violence on both sides to justice.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 266 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid