June 16th, 2011
10:44 AM ET

Commission to probe Ivory Coast violence

The Ivorian government announced the creation Thursday of a national investigation commission on the crimes perpetrated during the post-election crisis amid mounting pressure fom human rights organizations and the United Nations.

Bruno Kone, spokesman for the government, made the announcement on national TV, following a Cabinet meeting. The "national investigation commission will shed light on all the human rights violations perpetrated during the post-electoral crisis," said Kone.

"The president called for all investigations to be carried out without delay so that those responsible could be identified and be applied sanctions if needed," the statement added.

President Alassane Ouattara has recurrently promised no mercy for human rights abusers no matter which side of the conflict there are from. But Human Rights Watch pointed out earlier Wednesday in a statement by senior West Africa researcher Corinne Dufk that "no one from Ouattara's camp had yet been arrested for abuses committed during the post-electoral conflict."

"There is a growing divide between the Ouattara government's rhetoric that no one is above the law and the reality that justice appears one-sided and delayed," the statement said.

So far those who are under investigation currently, either by the military prosecutor or by the civilian prosecutor, are all from the former officials of the government of Laurent Gbagbo, said Suleiman Baldo, a member of a U.N. investigation team on Ivory Coast post-electoral violence.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she is concerned by the violence following the disputed election, including reports of summary executions, rape, torture and the use of children by parties to the conflict.

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