Red Cross urges 'proportionate' response in Ivory Coast

17th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The International Committee of the Red Cross Friday called on Ivory Coast's security forces to use force in a "proportionate manner" after post-election violence left at least 11 dead.

Saying it was "extremely concerned," the ICRC called on the feuding sides to "respect basic humanitarian principles.

"People must not be killed or injured, and their dignity must be preserved, the ICRC statement said.

"In particular, the ICRC emphasizes that security forces maintaining order must only use force when it is absolutely necessary and only in a proportionate manner."

The appeal came after a crackdown by Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo's forces against supporters of his presidential rival Alassane Ouattara on Thursday claimed at least 11 lives.

Both Gbagbo and Ouattara claim to have won last month's disputed election.

Gbagbo is backed by the Ivorian army and police while Ouattara has the support of the international community.

Between 11 and 30 people were killed in clashes in the capital on Thursday and Ouattara's supporters have threatened to return to streets on Friday.

The ICRC also appealed to "demonstrators and all forces" to respect the injured and allow Red Cross voilunteers to provide first aid.

© 2010 AFP

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