PARIS, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch applauded a decision by the government of Ivory Coast to renew a mandate for a unit tasked with investigating post-election violence in 2011.
Ivory Coast was pushed to the brink of civil war following disputed presidential elections in December 2010. At least 3,000 people died as a result of the violence pitting supporters of President Alassane Ouattara against those backing the former president, Laurent Gbagbo.
Ouattara's administration extended the mandate for an investigation into the violence and Daniel Bekele, director of African programs at Human Rights Watch, said it's time to get to work.
"Extending the special investigative cell's work gives the victims of the post-election violence a reason to hope that they might see justice," he said in a statement Thursday from Paris. "Now the Ivorian government needs to give it the staff, logistical support, and independence to do the job."
Gbagbo is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, for suspected war crimes committed during the post-election violence. Both parties to the conflict are suspected of committing human rights abuses.