Attack on Ivorian Camp Kills Seven People

A mob of about 300 people a a U.N.-guarded refugee camp in Ivory Coast near the town of Duekoue in the country’s west, killing at least seven of the refugees and 67 others injured.

Reports say the mob looted the shelters before burning them down.

The Nahibly camp used to house some 4,500 people. The camp completely burned to the ground, and its 4,500 inhabitants fled.

Today, the United Nations human rights agency has expressed condemnation on the attack that took place on a relocation camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cote d’Ivoire.

Pictured are displaced Ivorians in Duekoue, in the western MoyenCavally region of Cote d’Ivoire. The area has been plunged into crisis since fighting erupted between military forces loyal to former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and supporters of the internationally-recognized new president, Alassane Ouattara.

UN Photo

The Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has stressed that the ethnically-motivated incident underscores the need to combat impunity for past abuses.

A UN investigation team, including human rights officers, is being dispatched to the area today for a 10-day mission, according (OHCHR).

“The attack, which was clearly ethnically motivated, underscores the urgent need to combat impunity for past violations in Cote d’Ivoire.” – OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville

Mr. Colville noted that at the height of the post-electoral crisis in March 2011, two massacres took place in the Duekoue-Guiglo area.

Mr. Colville stressed that it appears that the attack on the IDP camp in Nahibly was targeted at members of the Guere community, which is being blamed by the Dioula community for an armed robbery last week.

He added that more than a year after the March 2011 Duekoue ethnic violence, little progress has been made in advancing justice and accountability.

He noted that while more than 176 members of the pro-Gbagbo camp, aligned with former President Laurent Gbagbo, have been indicted for violations committed during the post-electoral crisis, no arrests have been made of supporters of current President Alassane Ouattara in relation to these crimes.

OHCHR encourages the Government to prosecute perpetrators from all sides of the political divide, through a fair and impartial judicial process, to take the country forward.

In May 2011, Cote d’Ivoire’s inaugurated President Alassane Ouattara in the country’s political capital, Yamoussoukro.

Cote d’Ivoire’s political crisis ended when former president Laurent Gbagbo finally surrendered in mid-April 2011, ending months of violence that erupted in the wake of his refusal to step down after he lost the United Nations-certified presidential run-off election in November last year to Mr. Ouattara.

Earlier this June, the United Nations refugee agency said as the situation stabilizes in Cote d’Ivoire, the pace of the Ivorian outflow into neighbouring countries is gradually slowing.

According to the refugee agency, in the past week for example the average number of Ivorians crossing into Liberia has gone down from 200 to 130.

The refugee agency also has resumed the repatriation of Liberian refugees who had been stranded in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, during the recent post-election violence there.

Violence erupted in Cote d’Ivoire last December when Mr. Gbagbo refused to step down after he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election in November to Alassane Ouattara. Mr. Ouattara was sworn in earlier this month after Mr. Gbagbo surrendered in April, and much of the violence ceased.

UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process in the country. The mission, whose current mandate runs until 31 July, is currently tasked with assisting the country tackle the many challenges it faces in the wake of the violence that followed presidential elections in late 2010 and the electoral crisis that finally ended in April 2011.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.