Humanitarian workers in action in troubled Cote d'Ivoire: UN spokesman

10:41, April 13, 2011      

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Militants examine a car on a street in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, April 12, 2011. Cote d'Ivoire's outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested on Monday at the presidential residence by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the president-elect. Nevertheless, residents who had been holed up in their homes for some days are still afraid of the ongoing violence here. (Xinhua/Kong Hui)

Staff from the UN Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Program (WFP) are at work providing assistance to Cote d'Ivoire, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here on Tuesday.

These organizations were deployed to provide assistance in Cote d'Ivoire as the country's post-electoral crisis turned violent. On Monday, Laurent Gbagbo, whose decision not to cede the Ivorian presidency to internationally-certified run-off presidential election winner Alassane Ouattara set off the crisis, finally surrendered to Ouattara's forces.

"The Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights says that its staff in Abidjan is monitoring the situation there," said Haq. "It adds that its investigation teams in the west of the country have been reinforced and are continuing to investigate the violence and killings in that area."

OHCHR has been investigating allegations of mass killings of civilians in the west of Cote d'Ivoire.

"So far, the team has established that 536 people were killed in the west of the country, in Duekoue, Guiglo, Blolequin and Bangolo, in the past few weeks," said Haq.

Haq said the Human Rights Council (HRC) has named the members of a group that will further investigate the situation in Cote d' Ivoire.

"This morning in Geneva, the president of the Human Rights Council appointed three high-level experts as members of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in Cote d'Ivoire," Haq said, adding that the experts are Vitit Muntabhorn from Thailand, Suliman Baldo from Sudan, and Reine Alapini Gansou from Benin.
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