U.N. rights expert arrives in Ivory Coast

Nov. 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The United Nations will focus on fighting impunity for human rights violations in Ivory Coast during its visit to the country, an independent expert said.

Doudou Diene, a U.N. independent expert on human rights in Ivory Coast, arrived Monday in the country to meet with high-ranking officials ranging from President Alasane Ouattara to representatives from the country's truth and reconciliation committee.

"One of the key issues we will need to address is the fight against impunity for gross human rights violations," he said in a statement. "I look forward to accompanying the various efforts taking place on the ground towards this end."

Diene during his seven-day visit plans to meet with former President Laurent Gbagbo, who remains in custody following his arrest in April.

Thousands were killed in the conflict that followed November 2010 elections. Ouattara has asked the International Criminal Court to probe the violence, though both sides are suspected of committing atrocities.

Ivory Coast is preparing for legislation elections in December. The November 2010 elections pitting Ouattara against Gbagbo were meant to unite a country divided by civil war in 2003.

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