I just read a recent Human Rights Watch report covering abuses by Ouattara’s republican forces in the West during their advance. And well, it’s really bad, much worse than I thought. It’s seems to be systematic killings and abuses against civilians of the Guere ethnic group committed by not a few bad apples, but by a large number of the republican forces.
This is not going to stop me from celebrating the fall of Gbagbo which hopefully should happen soon, but it makes it impossible to wholeheartedly celebrate Ouattara taking power. Soro visited the West around the time these massacres happened and according to Human Rights Watch his visit did not appear to reduce the abuses. So, now it becomes important that a thorough investigation is made, and that pro-Ouattara soldiers don’t have impunity just because they are winning the war.
Here’s an excerpt:
In village after village investigated by Human Rights Watch, Republican Forces combatants killed, raped, and pillaged the predominantly Guéré population. The Guéré are originally from western Côte d’Ivoire and largely supported Gbagbo in last year’s election. A 47-year-old woman told Human Rights Watch that she looked on as two fighters killed her father, husband, and 10-year-old son around the family’s cocoa farm near Doké. A 32-year-old man described pro-Ouattara forces entering Diboké and opening fire on civilians as they ran out to see which side’s forces had entered, killing at least three people right in front of him. In at least 10 villages around Toulepleu and Bloléquin, villagers said they hid in the bush and watched as the Republican Forces set fire to houses and buildings used to store crops and seeds, slaughtered animals, and stole everything of value.