Civilians at 'grave risk' in Côte d'Ivoire

Civilians in Côte d'Ivoire are at grave risk from a flare up of violence in Abidjan, the country's commercial hub and the west of the country.

This warning has come from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights during the presentation of her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

A political stalemate continues in Côte d’Ivoire where incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step down so that the recognized winner of last year’s presidential run-off election, Alassane Ouattara can take over.

Ms. Pillay said violence and human rights abuses have increased in the West African country.

“The flaring up of armed clashes in Abidjan and the west of the country put civilians at grave risk. A humanitarian crisis is unfolding as people flee the fighting. I deplore attacks by Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters against the United Nations peacekeeping personnel, both civilians and Blue Helmet soldiers. All enjoy protected status under international law.”

duration: 25″

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