Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

  • Israel announces four-hour truce after deadly strike on UN school

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Africa

Militias committed atrocities, HRW says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-17

Forces loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara may have committed war crimes, Human Rights Watch has said in a report citing incidents of rape, execution and burning.

 
REUTERS - Security forces and militias loyal to Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo have committed atrocities on an organised scale that may constitute war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

These acts include rape, executions and burning West African immigrants to death, the monitoring group said in a report released late on Tuesday.

"It's an organised pattern of attacks on West Africans," HRW researcher Corinne Dufka told Reuters.

The world's top cocoa grower has been locked in violent turmoil since a disputed November election between Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara, widely recognised as the winner.

The HRW report lambasted gunmen claiming allegiance to Ouattara -- who have taken over parts of north Abidjan in the past three weeks -- for summary executions of 11 pro-Gbagbo troops captured since they rose up against the incumbent.

Neither side was immediately available for comment.

The report said Gbagbo's "Young Patriots", often armed youths who have set up roadblocks, had carried out a series of ethnically motivated killings since a call by their leader Charles Ble Goude to fight the rebellion late last month.

Goude was not immediately available for comment.

The report documented several cases of killings of West African immigrants and members of Ouattara's Dioula tribe by armed pro-Gbagbo youths. Immigrants often have been targeted in times of crisis since a 2002-3 war divided the country in two.

"Residents from Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Niger gave detailed accounts of daily attacks by pro-Gbagbo security forces and armed militias, who beat foreign residents to death with bricks, clubs, and sticks, or doused them with gas and burned them alive," the report said.

Abuses on Ouattara’s side

Around 400 people have been killed since the election, the United Nations says, and HRW added that "the vast majority (were) killed by pro-Gbagbo forces in circumstances not connected with armed conflict and with no apparent provocation."

The widespread and systematic nature of the attacks makes them candidates for war crimes charges, the report said.

"On the Ouattara side, armed fighters have begun a pattern of extrajudicial executions against alleged pro-Gbagbo combatants detained in Ouattara territory," it said.

Though the killing of civilians by Gbabgo's forces was more systematic, the report said Ouattara's fighters had raided a village seen as pro-Gbagbo this month and killed nine people.

Ouattara's rival administration has sought to distance itself from gunmen fighting in his name, but Dufka said he still could be held accountable. "These groups have sort of emerged spontaneously, but that doesn't mean (Ouattara's government) can't pass down orders like not executing prisoners," she said.
 

 

Date created : 2011-03-16

  • IVORY COAST

    Fear rife in Gbagbo camp amid Abidjan bloodshed

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Propaganda war rages as violence escalates in Abidjan

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    African Union panel confirms support for Ouattara

    Read more

COMMENT(S)