Pro-Ouattara forces committing rights breaches: UN rights

1st April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN human rights office said on Friday it was alarmed by reports that pro-Alassane Ouattara forces in Ivory Coast were committing serious human rights violations and urged restraint.

"We've had unconfirmed reports of quite serious human rights violations committed by the Force Republicaines de Cote d'Ivoire, the pro-Ouattara forces," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The reported violations, committed particularly in west Ivory Coast's Guiglo and Daloa areas, include looting, extortion, abductions, arbitrary arrests and ill treatment of civilians, added the spokesman.

They are "alarming enough for us to make the point quite strongly to the forces supporting Ouattara that they should be careful," said Colville.

Independent probes have already been set up in the country to examine human rights breaches, the spokesman pointed out, adding that the International Criminal Court is engaged.

"We would urge extreme restraint, extreme caution by the forces as they move around the country," stressed Colville.

Meanwhile, the spokesman also said that forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo are continuing to commit serious breaches of human rights.

"There've been a number of reports during the course of week -- two civilians reportedly burnt alive by pro-Gbagbo militiamen in Gagnoa, various other civilians killed in Abobo etc," he said.

There have been "sporadic reports of killings throughout the week as in previous weeks by forces supporting former President Gbagbo," added Colville.

© 2011 AFP

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