Ivory Coast lacks justice ahead of 2015 vote

Jan. 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM
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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- With elections set for 2015, an Ivory Coast human rights advocate said justice has yet to be served for violence that erupted during the 2010 presidential race.

Yacouba Doumbia, director of the Ivorian Human Rights Movement, told the United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks efforts to resolve the post-election crisis were faltering.

"Reconciliation without justice would be delusional, and Ivory Coast's recent history bears testimony to politicians' attempts at reconciliation through amnesty laws that compromise justice," he said in an interview published Wednesday.

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. IRIN reports one of 86 trials have concluded since a special unit was tasked in 2011 with investigating the conflict.

"The post-election crisis was very brutal and deadly," Doumbia said. "There's an absolute need for some justice at the very least."

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial on war crimes charges at The Hague, Netherlands. Human rights groups suspect supporters of President Alassane Ouattara committed their fair share of abuses.

Presidential elections are scheduled for next year.

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