Over 100 people killed in southwest Cote d'Ivoire

17:00, May 10, 2011      

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The Cote d'Ivoire government has revealed massive executions that happened in the southwest coastal regions of the country where at least 100 people were killed in the last five days by the remnants of fighters of the country's deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo.

At the same time, the authorities have called on Amnesty International to carry out investigations on these deaths.

"The last fighters for the ex-president, among them the Cote d'Ivoire militia and Liberian mercenaries who were chased away from Yopougon, decided to commit these heinous crimes as they were fleeing back to their regions of origin," Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said in a statement.

The statement said last Thursday, the mercenaries and the militia assassinated 27 people at Grand-Lahou (south-west, 140 km from Abidjan) and 16 others at the Irobo locality which is situated 25 km from Grand-Lahou.

Three other people are reported to have been killed by these mercenaries at Fresco locality which is not far from Grand-Lahou.

"Right from Dabou (30 km from Abidjan), the pro-Gbagbo mercenaries and the militia went either on foot or in hijacked vehicles upto Sassandra (south-west, 300 km from Abidjan) where they committed a number of killings on Friday," the statement continued.

The statement further specified that in the villages of Gonfroto and Niegreboue, 52 and 25 people were respectively killed because of belonging to a different ethnic group.

"Cote d'Ivoire's coastal region is experiencing same killings like those witnessed in the western region of Moyen Cavally in March 2011," the prime minister said.

At least 300 people were massacred in March during the entry of forces allied to Alassane Ouattara in the town of Duekoue (500 km from Abidjan).

The prime minister called for quicker intervention from the national and international community to stop these killings.

On Monday, the UN investigators who were in Yopougon (pro- Gbagbo district in Abidjan) discovered at least 70 bodies buried in a mass grave. The bodies which were all men, are suspected to have been killed by pro-Gbagbo militia.

The Cote d'Ivoire authorities have indicated that at least 3, 000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the post- election violence in November last year.

The new authorities have also launched investigations against Gbagbo and about 200 of his close confidants in relation to the serious human rights violations that were committed during the violence that ended after Gbagbo's arrest on April 11 by forces allied to Ouattara.

Source: Xinhua
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