Ivory Coast not ready for elections, U.N. says

Feb. 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM
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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Ivory Coast needs to address serious political issues before moving ahead with presidential elections in October, a U.N. special adviser said.

Doudou Diene, a Senegalese jurist working on human rights in Ivory Coast for the United Nations, said there were still deep political divisions in the country more than three years after rival claims to the presidency pushed it to the brink of civil war.

"I encourage the different political parties to refrain from divisive comments that could undermine the success of the ongoing political talks," he said in a statement Monday.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo faces war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court, though human rights groups suspect President Alassane Ouattara played a role in the atrocities.

Elections in 2010 were meant to unite a country divided by civil war in 2006. At least 3,000 people were killed during the post-election crisis in 2011.

Diene, who spent two weeks in Ivory Coast, said authorities there are called on to work quickly on the "unbiased reintegration of ex-combatants, and the organization of trials related to the post-election crisis, as well as reparation for victims of the crisis."

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