Posted by: africanpressorganization | 25 March 2011

Côte d’Ivoire / OHCHR press briefing note





Côte d’Ivoire / OHCHR press briefing note



GENEVA, Switzerland, March 25, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — OHCHR press briefing note

Since Thursday last week, at least 52 more people have been killed in Côte d’Ivoire, including 5 children and 7 women. We estimate that the death toll since mid-December has now reached at least 462. Our office in Côte d’Ivoire has also received allegations – as yet unconfirmed – that an additional 200 nationals of ECOWAS member states (including people from Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea and Togo) have been killed in the Guiglo area in the western part of the country. Our office is investigating these specific allegations. However, there are clear indications that West African nationals – principally those from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Nigeria – have continued to be subjected to targeted attacks.

In general, we are extremely concerned about the worsening situation, particularly given the continuing incitement by the outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo and the leader of the Young Patriots, Blé Goude, who have called on the youth in the country to join the army and “liberate the country” from their opponents.  At least 5,000 young people this week queued up to enlist in the army.  This is a worrying development with potentially severe implications for the already deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

Human rights officers in Côte d’Ivoire have also interviewed a number of victims who were abducted, robbed and had their homes raided by armed men believed to be elements of the Republican Guard and the Young Patriots. Politically-motivated human rights violations and abuses continue, with residences of pro-Gbagbo individuals also raided, ransacked and burnt down, reportedly by RHDP youth and the Forces nouvelles armed group which support President Ouattara.

Our office reports that armed groups on both sides have been implementing a new modus operandi in their attacks against civilians: typically this involves armed men in civilian cars indiscriminately firing or launch grenades at civilians, so far principally in the Boribana, Abobo, Attécoubé, Williamsville and Yopougon neighborhoods of Abidjan.  To give one example fo this sort of attack: Akekoi, a village predominantly inhabited by the Attié ethnic group, who are perceived to be pro-Gbagbo, was raided by armed men aboard a white 4×4 vehicle this week, leading to one civilian death.

We have also documented continuing attacks by the FDS on Adjamé, Williamsville, Port Bouet II and Attécoubé neighbourhoods in Abidjan, which appear to be aimed at arresting Ouattara supporters. Those carrying out these attacks encircle the area, conduct raids, and usually kill a number of people and destroy property.


United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


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