Ivory Coast: 'Disappointment' at UN's response to worsening situation

Amnesty International has expressed its disappointment with the outcome of yesterday’s United Nations special meeting on the situation in Ivory Coast.

The UN Human Rights Council met yesterday in a special session to consider the worsening situation in Ivory Coast, which has seen an increasing number of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and physical abuse in the wake of the 28 November presidential election.

The Council adopted a resolution condemning the human rights violations that have taken place, and calling, in general terms, for an end to human rights violations, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and an end to incitement to violence, hostility and hate speech

Amnesty International Representative to the UN in Geneva Peter Splinter said:

“While welcoming the call to respect human rights, the Council could have gone much further to address the deteriorating situation.

“The resolution does nothing to impress upon the perpetrators - including the instigators - of the ongoing extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations and abuses that they are, and will be, accountable for their acts.”

Amnesty insists that, at a minimum, the Council should have reminded all interested parties that Ivory Coast has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for acts committed on Ivorian territory, and that the ICC would be able to investigate and prosecute those involved in human rights violations and abuses.

Amnesty also regrets that the Council has taken a largely business-as-usual approach to follow up its special session.

Peter Splinter added:

“While Amnesty International welcomes the opportunity offered to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to inform the Council at times of her choosing on violations and abuses of human rights in Ivory Coast, it is disappointing that no explicit provision was made to enable the Council to act on the situation in Ivory Coast prior to its next regular session in March 2011.

“At this critical time the Ivorian population certainly deserved a more robust intervention than the Human Rights Council has offered them.”

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