Côte d’Ivoire: Justice to combat human rights violations and insecurity
International Federation of Human Rights
5 November 2012
Following a two-week mission, FIDH and its member organisations in Ivory Coast, the Ivorian League of Human Rights (LIDHO) and the Ivorian Movement for Human Rights (MIDH), remain concerned about the security situation and the continuing violations of human rights. Our organisations call on Ivorian political and judicial authorities to put an end to the reported the human rights violations, to prosecute their authors, and to more resolutely engage in favour of impartial justice and a genuine process of dialogue and reconciliation with all parties and all people. FIDH, LIDHO and MIDH, who support victims of the most serious crimes before national courts, will be particularly attentive to judicial investigations following the 12 October 2012 discovery of a mass grave in Duékoué, which was exhumed in the presence of staff from our organisations.
Deterioration of the security environment and human rights abuses
FIDH, LIDHO and MIDH condemn the repeated attacks against police and security forces that have taken place over the last months, notably the attacks in Bonoua and Yopougon on 14 and 15 October 2012. With around 11 attacks in four months, authorities face a real security challenge. Impartial investigations must be conducted in order to identify the perpetrators of these acts and bring them to justice. (…)
This climate of violence and tension in Ivory Coast has provided justification for the return of the military in the domestic security system, which has resulted in further violations of human rights. Illegal detentions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests for ransom, and incidents of torture, have alarmingly reappeared, especially in Abidjan where night roadblocks occur daily, are often illegal and sometimes carried out by unregistered men in uniform and carrying weapons. Our organisations have documented dozens of cases involving these types of violations in recent months. (…)
FIDH, MIDH and LIDHO welcome the continuation of criminal proceedings against members of Ivory Coast Republican Forces (FRCI) responsible for crimes, but regret that those at the highest level of responsibility who order or cover these crimes up, have not been implicated. The on-going reform of the security sector, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants, and the urgent adoption of a legal framework to control the activity of the Dozo (traditional hunters who provide security tasks - but also commit abuses -, as well as respect for human rights, must remain priorities for governmental action. (…)
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