ECOWAS expresses shock at reported massacre in Cote d'Ivoire

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS has condemned the reported massacre of civilians in and around Duekouein in Western Cote d'Ivoire on 29 March, warning that it will ''actively support any action to bring the perpetrators to justice at the appropriate time''.

''In this regard, the (ECOWAS) Commission welcomes the pledge by the President-Elect of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, to thoroughly investigate the incident, as well as his call on the UN Human Rights Council to speed up the implementation of the decisions contained in the Council’s Resolution A/HRC/16/25 by immediately dispatching a team to investigate human rights violations in the country,'' the ECOWAS Commission said in a statement made available to PANA here Tuesday.

The Commission also condemned the use of unarmed civilians as human shield in areas of conflict and reiterated that those who incite unarmed civilians to risk their lives needlessly will be held accountable for their action.

''The Commission is persuaded that it is only the unconditional acceptance by the outgoing President, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, of the verdict of his compatriots as expressed in the 28 November 2010 presidential election, and which is supported overwhelmingly by the international community, that will ensure the early termination of the tragedy that has befallen the country,'' it said.

The Commission, therefore, urges Mr. Gbagbo once again to consider the greater interest of the Ivorian Nation, as well as the unacceptably high levels of human suffering, death and destruction, and cede power immediately.

It expressed its readiness ''to ensure that the conditions prescribed in the Resolution of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 10 March 2011, especially with regard to ensuring a safe and dignified exit for Mr. Gbagbo, are fulfilled''.
-0- PANA SEG 5April2011

05 april 2011 10:42:14

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