Both sides responsible for war crimes in Ivory Coast: Amnesty
Amnesty International has published a new report calling on Ivorian authorities to suspend from duty people responsible for serious violations during months of post-election crisis in Ivory Coast pending an investigation.
The UK-based rights group on Wednesday published a 58-page report entitled “They looked at his identity card and shot him dead: Six months of post-electoral violence”.
The report reviews the six months of the post-election violence in Ivory Coast from last November, which shows human rights abuses were committed against civilians by forces loyal to both President Alassane Ouattara and ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo.
Salvatore Sagues, Amnesty International Researcher in Ivory Coast, said the rights group wants President Ouattara and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro to acknowledge the seriousness of the crimes and establish justice for all victims.
“We want President Ouattara to first condemn the very serious violations committed by his own forces, notably in Duékoué and suspend from duty the people responding for this, pending an investigation,” said Sagues.
He also urged the Ivorian president to order his security forces, the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI), to stop harassing the population.
“We’re still receiving calls for help from people seen as real or presumed supporters of Laurent Gbagbo who are still being harassed in Abidjan and the west of the country,” lamented Sagues.
The report highlights shocking testimonies from victims and witnesses to massacres, mass rapes and manhunts.
It said forces loyal to Ouattara and ex-leader Gbagbo committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.
“We have a lot of documented evidences…we met hundreds of victims belonging to both camps…many of these killings occurred in front of many witnesses,” said the Amnesty official.
The report is accompanied by a 30-minute video/ audio B roll containing witness testimonies gathered by an Amnesty International investigation team during a two-month research visit to Ivory Coast.
Amnesty says the six months of violence in Ivory Coast, caused by Gbagbo refusing to cede power to Ouattara after losing a November election, has left large sections of the population scarred and traumatized.
Mr Gbagbo is now under house arrest in Korhogo, northern Ivory Coast, after he was captured in April by Ouattara’s forces supported by French forces (Opération Licorne) and UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast (UNOCI).
The former Ivorian leader and his supporters are now being investigated for alleged crimes committed during the five-month political crisis, which led to the death of more than 2,000 and the displacement of more than 150,000 others, according to rights groups.
By Harrison AkohTweet