Ivorian government expanding control

Nov. 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Northern Ivory Coast officials said they are warming to the administration of President Alassane Ouattara a decade after civil war that had divided the country.

Ivory Coast was pushed to the brink of war following a 2010 election meant to unite a country divided by conflict in 2002. Then, the north was under rebel control while the south was ruled by Laurent Gbagbo, the former president on trial in The Hague for post-election crimes.

Lassina Diomande, a lawmaker from the central city of Bouake, told the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN, that while some administrative functions were lacking, the central government has exerted more authority in former rebel-held territory.

His comments come as U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic reviews the human rights situation in the West African country.

Seven members of the U.N. peacekeeping mission there, known by its French initials UNOCI, were killed in June when they were attacked by unknown assailants near the Liberian border.

Human Rights Watch, in a mid-November report, said military forces were responsible for human rights abuses during a military crackdown last summer. The report said abuses ranged from torture to illegal detentions.

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