/ 11 August 2011

Ouattara forces blamed for executions, says UN

Ouattara Forces Blamed For Executions

As many as 26 extrajudicial killings took place over the past four weeks in Côte d’Ivoire, blamed by locals mostly on fighters who backed President Alassane Ouattara in a vote dispute, the United Nations mission to the country said on Thursday.

Between July 11 and August 10 there were “26 cases of extrajudicial execution, summary or arbitrary”, the rights representative for the UN’s Côte d’Ivoire mission, Guillaume Ngefa, said at a press conference.

“[There were also] 85 cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention,” he said.

Most often implicated in the “numerous violations of human rights” being recorded were men that locals identified as belonging to the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI), which is being integrated into a new army, he said.

The FRCI helped Ouattara take power after an election dispute with ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to give up power after losing elections in November.

Gbagbo’s refusal led to a four-month conflict in which 3 000 people were killed and both sides were accused of serious human rights abuses.

It ended when the FRCI, backed by French forces, arrested Gbagbo on April 11, enabling Ouattara to assume office in May.