UN rights council spotlights Ivory Coast 'atrocities'

23rd December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The UN Human Rights Council held a special session Thursday on the post-election crisis in Ivory Coast to consider a draft resolution warning of "atrocities" and urging respect for the "will of the people".

The one-day meeting of the UN's 47 member rights assembly was called at the request of more than 20 mainly western and African member states led by the United States and Nigeria, in an attempt to show unity over the Ivorian crisis.

The incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and rival Alassane Ouattara have been locked in a standoff since last month's presidential election after both men claimed to have won, leading to deadly post-election violence.

World powers, the United Nations and the African Union have recognised the challenger, Ouattara, as president and have demanded the incumbent step down.

At least 50 people had been killed in Ivory Coast's post-election crisis, according to the United Nations, sparking fears of civil war.

Nigeria, on behalf of the African group of nations, submitted a draft resolution for endorsement by the Council that would place Ivory Coast under international scrutiny, according to a text released by the UN.

It expressed deep concern "about the atrocities and violations of human rights committed in Ivory Coast in relation to the conclusion of the 2010 presidential election."

The proposal called on all sides "to immediately put an end to all human rights violations and fully respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the will of the people as well as the restoration of democracy and the rule of law."

© 2010 AFP

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