UN: Both Sides in Ivory Coast Conflict May Have Committed Rights Violations

Posted June 10th, 2011 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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A United Nations human rights body says investigators have found evidence that both sides in the Ivory Coast conflict may have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The U.N. Human Rights Council sent an inquiry panel to the country May 4-28. After visiting several cities, the panel concluded that serious human rights violations, including murder and rape, were committed by both sides, some of which could constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The panel called on the Ivorian government to carry out an impartial investigation to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

The West African nation plunged into a five-month conflict following disputed elections last November. United Nations-certified results showed that Alassane Ouattara defeated incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. But Mr. Gbagbo refused to step down, sparking a power struggle that killed about 3,000 people.

The conflict ended when troops loyal to Mr. Ouattara swept through the country and ousted Mr. Gbagbo on April 11 with the help of U.N. and French forces under a Security Council mandate.

President Ouattara, who was formally sworn into office in May, has promised to hold accountable all those who committed crimes during the political crisis.