Civilians used as 'human shields' in Côte d'Ivoire

Civilians in the Abobo suburb of Abidjan, the commercial hub of Côte d'Ivoire are being used as 'human shields' to prevent attacks by forces loyal to Laurent Ggbabo.

Ivorian refugees

Ivorian refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva says that people are being prevented from leaving Abobo where forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo are fighting with supporters of Alassane Outtara, the recognized winner of last year’s presidential election.

Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the Human Rights Commissioner says people sheltering in public places and are being prevented from leaving.

“We have also received reports that a previously unknown group calling themselves 'The Invisible Commando’ are preventing civilians from leaving the Abobo suburb of Abidjan and other suburbs as well and are effectively using civilians as human shields to prevent attacks by forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo forces. We are particularly concerned about of reports of families who are essentially confined to buildings such as churches and other public places.”

duration: 28″

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