Tensions have been rising in Cote D'Ivoire since the disputed November 28th, 2010, presidential election. Amnesty International has received a growing number of reports of violence against protesters and perceived political opponents, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and mass burial sites. People are living in fear of being shot, arrested or abducted by the security forces or militias close to Laurent Gbagbo.
Eyewitnesses have reported people being arrested or abducted at home or on the streets, often by unidentified armed attackers accompanied by security forces or militiamen. The bodies of some have been found either in morgues or on the streets. The whereabouts of many others remain unknown. On the night of January 4th, 2011, security forces loyal to Gbagbo raided the Abdijan headquarters of political allies of Ouattara, killing one, wounding sixteen, and arbitrarily arresting dozens. Amnesty calls for security forces to immediately end attacks on political opponents and to unconditionally release these detainees.
Amnesty urges an independent investigation into reported human rights abuses and full accountability for those parties responsible, believing that full accountability and reinstatement of rule of law is requisite for a lasting peaceful solution. Amnesty International urges the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reiterate that no Ivorian politician should incite the commission of human rights violations or abuses and warns that perpetrators of such abuses could be held to account by the International Criminal Court. As ECOWAS and the international community continue negotiations with Gbagbo, human rights concerns must remain at the heart of the matter. a