Ivorian reconciliation slow to develop

Jan. 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Human rights officials said Ivory Coast is commended for trying to repair old wounds but the process is exceedingly slow to produce results.

The Ivorian government in 2011 established a truth and reconciliation committee to address the causes of past conflicts in the West African nation.

Franck Ekra, a top adviser for the committee, told the United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks reconciliation is a slow process.

"We have paved the way for the efforts that should guarantee that conflict does not recur in future," he was quoted Monday as saying. "But it's clear the work is not finished."

Ivorian elections in 2010 were meant to unite a country divided by earlier civil war. Rival claims of victory, however, left more than 3,000 people dead in the fighting that followed the contest.

Mohamed Suma, head of the International Center for Transitional Justice office in Ivory Coast, told IRIN the commission "did in two years [what] was supposed to be done in the first six months of the life of [the] commission."

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is facing trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes allegedly committed during post-election violence. Human rights groups suspect President Alassane Ouattara and his supporters also committed abuses.

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