Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Manchester, United

Read more

ENCORE!

TV series 'Top of the Lake: China Girl' screened at Cannes

Read more

FOCUS

A lifeline for women facing domestic violence in Pakistan

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Afghanistan's new TV channel by and for women

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Former minister accused of role in murder of two UN investigators in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Murder in Manchester': Press reacts to Arena terror attack

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Naomi Campbell hosts 'Fashion For Relief'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's visit to Israel in key images

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peacemaker? After Saudi Arabia, Trump visits Israel

Read more

Africa

UN uncovers mass graves in Abidjan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-09

UN workers have found 10 mass graves containing a total of 68 bodies in the Yopougon district of Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, it was reported Monday. The neighbourhood was a battleground following the disputed presidential election.

 

AP - U.N. investigators in Ivory Coast have determined there were at least 68 bodies spread out across 10 burial mounds in a mass grave recently discovered on a soccer field in Abidjan, the country’s commercial capital.
 
Guillaume Ngefa, the deputy director of the human rights division of the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, said Monday the victims were likely killed by pro-Laurent Gbagbo militias on April 12, the day after the strongman was arrested.
 
Ngefa said in a telephone interview that investigators visited the site Friday and photographed the 10 plots. They interviewed witnesses who described the killings as well as family members who identified the dead.
 
Ngefa said the investigators spoke to two residents of the Yopougon neighborhood where the incident occurred who were conscripted by the militiamen and forced to bury the dead.
 
The killings occurred on April 12, the day after Gbagbo was arrested by the army fighting to install the nation’s democratically elected leader, Alassane Ouattara.
Yopougon, where the soccer field is located, is believed to be where Gbagbo’s militias took cover after their leader’s fall.
 
The area has historically been a Gbagbo stronghold, but it has pockets inhabited by the Djola and Baole, ethnic groups that voted for Ouattara in November’s divisive election. The victims were almost exclusively from these two groups, witnesses told The Associated Press.
 
Ngefa said the largest grave is believed to hold 31 bodies; another has at least 21.
The killings may have been in revenge for the arrest of several dozen militiamen who had taken cover inside a Baptist Church in Yopougon, said Ngefa.
 
The militiamen were rounded up by Ouattara’s army. Soon after, pro-Gbago gunmen began going door to door in Yopougon, arresting and killing perceived supporters of Ouattara, Ngefa said.
 
Gbagbo’s refusal to cede power after losing the November election in Ivory Coast sent the West African nation into a spiral of violence. More than 1,000 civilians were killed, first by the army controlled by Gbagbo and later by a former rebel group allied with Ouattara that seized control of the country and toppled Gbagbo.

 

Date created : 2011-05-09

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo lawyers absent during questioning over post-election violence

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Ouattara salutes Council's courage after taking oath

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Ousted president grilled over post-election violence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)