United Nations says Ivory Coast shelling may be 'war crime'
Friday, March 18, 2011
The shelling on Thursday resulted in around a hundred casualties, 25 of which were deaths. At least six shells were reportedly fired from military barracks into the district of Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the Ivory Coast after elections in late 2010., a region that supports
According to the UN, forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who also claims to have won the election, were responsible for the shelling, though Gbagbo's supporters deny this.
The UN said that the incident was an act that "perpetrated against civilians, could constitute a crime against humanity." Secretary Generalsaid that the UN will "continue to take the necessary steps to protect the civilian population" in the country.
A spokesperson for Gbagbo, Ahoua Don Mello, however, denied responsibility for the shelling, claiming that the UN allegations were part of a "conspiracy" with Ouattara and France, the Ivory Coast's former colonial ruler, that would result in the removal of Gbagbo from power.
France also condemned the shelling, saying it was "deliberate massacre of civilians," and requested that theimpose sanctions against Gbagbo and his allies.
Unrest since the presidential election is estimated to have killed 410 people and caused 450,000 people to leave their homes.
- "Ivory Coast shelling in Abidjan 'a war crime' - UN" — , March 18, 2011
- "U.N. expresses shock at escalating bloodshed in Ivory Coast" — , March 18, 2011
- "Ivory Coast crisis: 'Deadly shelling' in Abidjan" — , March 17, 2011