News / Africa

Human Rights Watch Accuses Gbagbo Allies Targeting Foreigners in Ivory Coast

Human rights officials say allies of Ivory Coast's incumbent president are targeting foreigners in a campaign of violence that may constitute war crimes. The U.N. certified winner of Ivory Coast's presidential vote says attacks on foreigners must end.

Human Rights Watch says soldiers and militia loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo are attacking immigrants from other West Africa countries, notably Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Niger, and Nigeria.

The group says pro-Gbagbo forces are increasingly engaged in a stream of deadly abuse with no apparent fear of being investigated or held accountable.

Over the last three weeks, Human Rights Watch says it has documented the beating or burning to death of at least 14 West African nationals, as well as the widespread looting of numerous shops and houses they own, and the systematic expulsion of West Africans from areas in at least three neighborhoods of the commercial capital, Abidjan.

Witnesses described victims being beaten to death with clubs, large pieces of concrete, knives, axes, and machetes, while others were doused with petrol and set ablaze.

Mr. Gbagbo made the question of Ivorian identity central to his re-election campaign, challenging the nationality and loyalty of former prime minister Alassane Ouattara by telling voters that the only "real" Ivorian in the race was Laurent Gbagbo.

The African Union last week certified Mr. Ouattara as the rightful winner of November's vote joining the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States in calling on Mr. Gbagbo to give up power.

Mr. Ouattara says immigrants who came to Ivory Coast are welcome to stay and the violence against them must end.

In a television broadcast from the hotel where he is guarded by U.N. peacekeepers, Mr. Ouattara said the debate about the presidential election is over. As president, he pledged to reconcile all Ivorians from all regions as well as what he called "brothers and sisters who have come from elsewhere and for whom Ivory Coast is a land of hospitality", urging everyone to stifle their resentments and build a country that goes beyond the ties of blood.

The International Organization for Migration is evacuating more than 400 Mauritanians at the request of the government in Nouakchott. The group says more than 6,000 Ghanaians have returned home since the violence began in December and many workers from Guinea are crossing back into their own country along with Ivorian refugees.

You May Like

Young Pakistani Satirists Work to Change Story

Pakistani artists have long been tackling issues considered to be out of bounds for media, and a new breed of musicians, comedians continue to satirize many of them More

Is the Partition of Iraq Inevitable?

Analysts say formation of independent Kurdistan could threaten nation-state system of entire region More

Ramones Punk Band Co-founder Dies

Drummer, songwriter Tommy Ramone, 65, had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct and died at home in Queens, NY 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.
Gaza Fighting Takes Civilian Tolli
X
Zlatica Hoke
July 12, 2014 10:47 AM
Fighting between Hamas forces in Gaza and Israel's military has left about 100 people dead in the coastal Mediterranean strip, most of them civilians. Israelis living close to the border with Gaza have a well-developed system of air raids and bomb shelters where they retreat as needed. In Gaza, there are no sirens and no bomb shelters. Zlatica Hoke reports on how civilians on both sides are faring fare during the conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Fighting Takes Civilian Toll

Fighting between Hamas forces in Gaza and Israel's military has left about 100 people dead in the coastal Mediterranean strip, most of them civilians. Israelis living close to the border with Gaza have a well-developed system of air raids and bomb shelters where they retreat as needed. In Gaza, there are no sirens and no bomb shelters. Zlatica Hoke reports on how civilians on both sides are faring fare during the conflict.
Video

Video Pakistani Offensive Empties Biggest Town in Militant Sanctuary

Pakistan's military recently took a group of journalists to Miranshah, North Waziristan, the main city in a region that has been stronghold of militant and terrorist groups. Ayaz Gul brings us a first-person view of the trip to a city that is now empty of residents, but full of evidence of the militants who were once based there.
Video

Video Hotel in Rio Favela Attracts Jazz Enthusiasts

You might not expect to find a hotel in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas -- the local name for the city's shantytowns. But VOA’s Brian Allen has the unlikely success story of “The Maze.” Though it's located in one of the poorest parts of the city, it has also been named as one of the best places to hear live jazz music in the world.
Video

Video Smart Road 'Talks' to Cars, Warns of Dangers

How would you drive differently if traffic signals could tell you when they were about to turn red? Or, if your car could warn you of a pedestrian crossing the road ahead of you? Researchers are working on these advances on what’s called a “Smart Road” in Virginia. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti puts you in the driver’s seat to show how it’s done.
Video

Video California Dance Company Aims to Break Belly Dance Stereotype

In the United States, and some other countries, belly dancing is often perceived as a seductive dance, performed mostly at specialty restaurants. One California dance company is trying to get more people to appreciate it as form of art. The group Bellydance Evolution is hoping to redefine people's view of belly dancing by fusing western dance styles with belly dancing and performing around the world. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Restored Papyrus Swamps Can Help Fight Pollution, Conserve Water

Papyrus is a light but strong reed that grows well in shallow, fresh water. The plant stood at the center of the ancient Egyptian civilization. It was used as paper and the reed's shape inspired the fluted columns of ancient Greece. Most of the papyrus swamps gradually disappeared from Egypt and other parts of Africa. As VOA's Faiza Elmasry discovered, though, restoring the papyrus swamps could hold the key to solve many of today’s problems, from pollution to water wars. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Virginia Site Tests Drones for FAA Rules

Blacksburg, a college town in southwestern Virginia, is one of six locations chosen by the FAA - the Federal Aviation Administration - to test drones. Researchers are sending feedback to the FAA as the agency develops national drone regulations. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti traveled to the town to check what’s up in the air there.
Video

Video Israel, Hamas Trade Blame, Dig in

The military conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, continues to escalate. As VOA’s Brian Padden reports, both sides blame each other for provoking the conflict and neither side at this point is ready to back down.
Video

Video Burma Football Friendly Brings Together Battlefield Opponents

As most of Myanmar’s ethnic armies maintain a fragile ceasefire with the government, some of the troops were able to let off a little steam, World Cup - style. Steve Sandford reports from Karen State, Myanmar, also known as Burma, on a peace initiative aimed at building trust between the opposing sides of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

AppleAndroid