Amnesty: Justice imbalanced in Ivory Coast

Feb. 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

LONDON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Amnesty International said it was concerned about the "cycle of abuse and impunity" in Ivory Coast as national forces go after former regime backers.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo appeared last week before the International Criminal Court for his confirmation of charges hearing. He's accused of crimes against humanity in post-election violence in Ivory Coast following 2010 elections.

Amnesty International said it was concerned that national forces under President Alassane Outtara were targeting Gbagbo's supporters.

The rights group said its researchers in Ivory Coast visited with prisoners said to be detained for political or ethnic affiliations. Many prisoners claimed torture or arbitrary detention.

Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International regional researcher, said the military in Ivory Coast was acting with almost complete impunity. None of Oattara's supporters, he said, have been held accountable for alleged crimes against humanity.

"Ivory Coast needs to break the cycle of abuse and impunity," he said in a statement.

Gbago was arrested in 2011 in Abidjan with the help of French peacekeepers. His arrest secured Ouattarra's claim to the presidency, a move supported by the international community.

Disputed claims to victory in a 2010 contest meant to unite the country pushed it to the brink of civil war.

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