UN report urges investigation into Ivory Coast rights violations

[JURIST] The UN Operation in the Ivory Coast (UNOCI) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) [official websites] on Friday released a report documenting severe human rights violations [press release] occurring in the Ivory Coast. Dozos, who are responsible for undertaking security measures within the country, have allegedly been violating civilians' human rights, by undertaking measures such as extrajudicial killings and summary executions, as well as illegal arrest and detention of individuals. Investigations included in the report show that at least 228 individuals have been killed and at least 164 have been injured by bullets, machetes and knives since March 2009. Regarding the violence by Dozos, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] stated:

The authorities have the duty to carry out serious investigations into the human rights violations committed by the Dozos in Cote d'Ivoire, bring the perpetrators to justice and provide appropriate redress to the victims. The State authorities of Cote d'Ivoire have the duty to deploy appropriate security forces throughout the country to prevent the population from using Dozos on security issues. Impunity granted to Dozos in Cote d'Ivoire is unacceptable and must be stopped.
Head of UNOCI, Aichatou Mindaoudou [official profile], has, however, characterized as positive actions taken by the Ivory Coast government in an attempt to cover the country with professional security forces.

The Ivory Coast has suffered from a number of human rights crises since 2011. UN human rights expert Doudou Diene in October stressed the importance of remembering the victims [JURIST report] of the violent post-election crisis that gripped the West African nation two years ago. The five-month long post-election crisis, which resulted in at least 3,000 civilian deaths, erupted when former president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] refused to step down [JURIST report] after losing the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara in November 2010. In February Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that the Ivory Coast national army is committing human rights violations against pro-Gbagbo supporters. The report included detailed accounts of the alleged torture and inhumane treatment of political and ethnic prisoners, including members of Gbagbo's family. In December 2012 a senior UN rights official warned that the Ivory Coast could face ongoing violence [JURIST report] and be deprived of justice if human rights offenders are not prosecuted.

 

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