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Ivory Coast struggling to gain traction

Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM   |   Comments

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Former militants in Ivory Coast are returning to violence because they're frustrated with the pace of reconciliation, an Ivorian rights official said.

Ivory Coast is working to address lingering concerns left over from post-election conflict in 2011 that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

The International Criminal Court unsealed an arrest warrant Oct. 3 for former Ivorian Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude for war crimes. The court said he allegedly had power to give orders to Ivorian youth who were recruited into the military to serve as mercenaries loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo, himself facing trial at the ICC.

The country's weapons proliferation commission said nearly 9,000 of the 65,000 ex-combatants have reintegrated into society though most were frustrated with the pace of reforms. Interim head of the Ivorian Human Rights League Pierre Kouame Adjoumani told the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks some former combatants were turning to banditry and other forms of violence.

"Their impatience and the difficulties faced by the [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] to take them on board are the reasons for this situation," he said in an interview published Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch published a 111-page report last week saying land disputes for returning refugees were contributing to a cycle of violence in the country.

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