News / Africa

UN Investigators Call for End to Impunity in Ivory Coast

Christian and Muslim supporters of Alassane Ouattara participate in a special Muslim prayer in honor of the civilians killed in three months of post-election violence, following Friday prayers at a mosque in the Treichville neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory
Christian and Muslim supporters of Alassane Ouattara participate in a special Muslim prayer in honor of the civilians killed in three months of post-election violence, following Friday prayers at a mosque in the Treichville neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory
Lisa Schlein

U.N. human-rights investigators are calling for an end to impunity in Ivory Coast. They warn there will be no lasting peace or stability in Ivory Coast until those responsible for crimes during the post-election turmoil in the country are brought to justice.

The three-member International Commission of Inquiry has submitted its report on Ivory Coast to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report finds many serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were perpetrated by different parties following the disputed November 28 presidential election. It said some might amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

International Commission of Inquiry Chairman Vitit Muntabhorn said in the first few months after the election, supporters of the duly elected President Alassane Ouattara were singled out for violence.

After the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo in March, he said those seen to be close to the former president were targets of reprisal killings. He said heinous violations have been committed on both sides of this political divide.  

“I listened to accounts of people being burned alive several times, which were horrific," said Muntabhorn. "We saw villages being razed to the ground, attacks on different groups, political instrumentation of ethnicity leading to attacks on different ethnic groups, violence against women and children, and so on, particularly in the west and particularly in Abidjan.”  

During its field visits, the commission collected information indicating 3,000 people may have died during the political and ethnic violence.  

Since Gbagbo was arrested, the investigators note security in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, and many places in western Ivory Coast has improved. They say human-rights violations are continuing, however, and this is of serious concern.  

The report documents cases of widespread abuse, including retaliatory killings and summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest, and rape.

The commission interviewed women refugees from western Ivory Coast who recounted horrendous experiences of having been raped in their villages and in their hideouts in the countryside.  

Although rape appears to have been widespread, commission member, Suliman Ali Baldo, said the Commission does not have evidence that rape was used as a weapon of war.  

“There is a dimension of ethnic targeting in the violence that occurred in Cote d’Ivoire, and a layer of that ethnic targeting is the rape of women as a measure of humiliation and an insult to entire community to which they belong," said Ali Baldo. "Therefore, this is a major feature of the violence.”  

Among its many recommendations, the commission is calling for an end to impunity, and for discrimination and other underlying causes of the crisis to be addressed. It also urges the government to set up a truth and reconciliation commission to try to bring the divided communities together.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid