I.Coast leader giving 'green light' to attacks: Amnesty

25th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara of turning a blind eye to deadly attacks against supporters of former leader Laurent Gbagbo.

According to a report released by the London-based group, reprisal atrocities are still being committed against Gbagbo's backers, six weeks after Ouattara gained power with the promise of reconciliation following a bloody conflict.

"Human rights violations are still being committed against real or perceived supporters of Laurent Gbagbo both in Abidjan and in the west of the country," said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International's west Africa researcher.

"Alassane Ouattara's failure to condemn these acts could be seen as a green light by many of his security forces and other armed elements fighting with them to continue," he argued.

"Alassane Ouattara must publicly state that all violence against the civilian population must stop immediately," demanded Mootoo.

Ouattara took the oath of office on May 6, nearly a month after bitter political rival Gbagbo was captured after having refused to cede power following a presidential election in November.

A months-long battle pitted Ouattara against Gbagbo, who refused to leave office after his rival was declared the winner of the poll.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the violence, according to the new government, and tens of thousands sought refuge into neighbouring countries.

Gbagbo was captured in an underground bunker in Abidjan on April 11 by forces loyal to Ouattara, backed by France and the United Nations.

© 2011 AFP

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