UN-appointed team will go to Côte d'Ivoire to conduct human rights inquiry

9 July 2004

A United Nations-appointed Independent Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d'Ivoire between mid-September 2002 and the signing of a peace agreement the following January, will go to the West African country later this month.

The five-member team will travel on 18 July and stay in the country for about three months, spokesman José Luis Diaz of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said at a press briefing in Geneva.

The team would be accompanied by its secretariat and a number of forensic experts and would examine the human rights situation since 19 September 2002, he said.

Violence flared up in the West African nation on that day, with deadly attacks by elements of the armed forces.

Refugees from Côte d'Ivoire reported losing their homes after government forces allegedly burned certain of the city's immigrant districts and razed shantytowns during a security sweep.

Following clashes between government troops and rebels, a UN team described Bouaké as a "ghost city." Tens of thousands of people fled across the border to neighbouring countries.

 

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