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HRW: Ivorian justice lacks balance

April 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 11 (UPI) -- None of the forces in an Ivorian military unit created by President Alassane Ouattara have faced trial for post-election abuses, Human Rights Watch said.

The rights organization said it welcomed the Thursday start of an Ivorian trial against soldiers implicated in crimes committed in the post-election crisis that followed late 2010 elections.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is on trial at The Hague for crimes committed during the crisis. Human rights groups suspect both sides committed atrocities.

Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 3,000 people died as a result of fighting that raged from November 2010 to May 2011. Elections were meant to unite a country divided by conflict, but instead pushed it to the brink of civil war.

Human Rights Watch said nobody from the national Republican Forces, created by Ouattara, has been arrested in relation to the post-election violence.

West African researcher for Human Rights Watch Matt Wells said from Nairobi there's been real progress economically, but not much in terms of justice.

With April marking the 2nd anniversary of Gbagbo's arrest, it's "a reminder of how much time has passed without sufficient headway on crucial issues like security sector reform and justice for sensitive cases involving the Republican Forces," he said.

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