Human-rights violations rampant
FORCES SUPPORTING Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the six months of deadly violence that followed disputed elections in Cote d’Ivoire, Amnesty International claims in a report published 25 May.
The 80-page report contains shocking testimonies from victims and witnesses of massacres, rapes and manhunts. It concludes that forces loyal to both sides have committed serious violations of the International Humanitarian Law.
"The human rights abuses are still committed against known or suspected supporters of Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan and the west," said Gaetan Mootoo, researcher and specialist on West Africa at Amnesty International, confirming what different media outlets have reported. Laurent Gbagbo was finally arrested on 11 April by pro Ouatara forces ending a six-month post electoral contestation and violence that turned the country upside down and killed hundreds of people.
"The fact that Alassane Ouattara did not condemn these acts may be perceived by many members of its security forces and other armed elements fighting alongside them as a green light to continue to perpetrate such crimes. Alassane Ouattara should declare publicly that all violence against civilians must cease immediately," the report went on.
An Amnesty International delegation which spent more than two months in Côte d'Ivoire has collected over 100 testimonials from surviveers of a massacre on 29 March, 2011, at Duékoué (about 500 km West of Abidjan) and in nearby villages. All the testimonies point to a series of targeted and systematic killings committed by Republican Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FRCI created by Alassane Ouattara on 8 March, 2011) who killed hundreds of men of all ages on the basis of political and ethnic considerations.
800 people were reported killed at Duekue by pro-Ouatara forces. The atrocities were reported to be the cruelest the country witnessed in the post-electoral clashes. Before killing their, soldiers asked their victims to give their names and show their identity card. Some of these identification cards were found beside the dead bodies.
A Duékoué woman told Amnesty: