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UN Report Highlights Abuses in Ivory Coast

A UN report on human rights abuses in Ivory Coast has been published in the Paris-based newspaper Liberation, several days after it was leaked to Ivorian papers. The report outlines examples of death squads, mass executions, torture and rapes in the country over the past two years.

VOA West Africa correspondent Nico Colombant, based in Abidjan, talked with English to Africa reporter William Eagle about the abuses. Correspondent Colombant says authorities are probably directing them, although it is difficult to determine who exactly is giving the orders. Among those abused are women, and he says soldiers and rebels engage in rape. He says warfare and economic hard times have led to a growth in prostitution, which is sometimes controlled by soldiers. UN peacekeepers have also been seen soliciting prostitutes, which could lead to the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases