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May 20, 2013
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Ivory Coast News
Cote d’Ivoire is once more under the spotlight for alleged human rights violations, with fingers being pointed at the government of President Alassane Ouattara for doing too little to curb abuses, improve the justice system and end impunity.
Of late, concerns over rights abuses have been raised by Amnesty International, International Crisis Group and independent expert of the UN on human rights issues in Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Doudou Diene.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says close to 65,000 Ivorian refugees are still in Liberia residing in five camps about two years after they fled post-election fighting in their country.
The Ivorians are being hosted in camps in Saclepea, Bahn, Solo, Dougee and Little Wlebbo, UNHCR Liberia Office spokesman Sulaiman Momodu told WADR in Monrovia at the weekend.
A new initiative has been launched to improve cocoa production in Africa, with the launch of the Sustainable Trade Initiative, a sustainable agro-industry project of the Dutch government in the Ivory Coast.
Amnesty International has called for the ‘immediate’ transfer of Mrs. Simone Gbagbo, wife of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, by Côte d’Ivoire to The Hague for an investigation into her alleged role in crimes against humanity.
The rights advocacy group made the call after the International Criminal Court (ICC) revealed it had an outstanding warrant for her arrest.
Cote d’Ivoire could slip back into crisis if the government fails to promote initiatives for peaceful co-existence between elements of the former regime and rebel forces constituting the current national army, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned.
ICG said in its latest report, Cote d’Ivoire is walking a dangerous path toward polarization by repeating mistakes made by previous governments, with Ivorian forces being divided, where hardliners in the political class are firmly committed to consolidating their military victory.
A joint military maneuver is underway in Cote d’Ivoire involving the French military and Ivorian government forces.
Military officials say the joint exercise with the French is necessary because the current Ivorian army has faced repeated attacks from subversive armed groups in parts of the country.
Supporters of indicted ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo are enraged, but not surprised at the arrest warrant issued against his wife Simone Gbagbo by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC said the former Ivorian First Lady was wanted for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the wake of violence after the disputed presidential elections in 2010.
Ivorian authorities have announced a nine percent increase in the price of cocoa, as the country enters the major cocoa trading season.
Cocoa at the farm gate will now sell for 725 francs CFA per kilo for the over 700,000 metric tonnes exported annually.
Ivorian authorities are developing a new strategy to combat money laundering that seeks to protect the construction industry and other businesses in danger of being infiltrated.
The Ivorian government has therefore reactivated the national financial data processing department to help track money launderers.
The Ivorian government and development partners are strategizing to find solutions to the country’s high unemployment rate put at four million and affecting mainly the youths.
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) reports that about 60 percent of Ivorians between the ages of 18 and 35 are unemployed.