Caritas condemns Ivory Coast massacre

Displaced people in Ivory Coast image UNICEF

Displaced people in Ivory Coast image UNICEF

Caritas Ivory Coast teams visiting Duekoué in Ivory Coast are reporting a thousand people have been killed there or “disappeared”. The Caritas staff were part of an inter-agency assessment team to the town on Wednesday 30 March, a Caritas International statement said.

The massacre took place in the ‘Carrefour’ quarter of town, controlled by pro-Ouattara forces, during clashes on Sunday 27 March to Tuesday 29 March.

Mr Ouattara has claimed victory in last year’s election.

Caritas says it does not know who was responsible for the killing, but says a proper investigation must take place to establish the truth. The organizaton said it condemned all attacks on civilians adding that the humanitarian situation in Cote D’Ivoire is rapidly deteriorating.

Meanwhile, Abidjan Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa said that the situation has calmed “in the sense that the shootings have reduced”.

“But it is a disquieting calm, not at all reassuring. It is very tense. The people are barricaded in their homes. In some districts they have no water, electricity or food. We are awaiting the finale to the battle. It is an indescribable tragedy,”the Archbishop added.

He told Fides that he was shocked by the assault by the Republican forces aligned with President-elect Alassane Ouattara, aiming to take the three landmarks of Ivorian power (the Presidential Palace, the residence of the President and the headquarters of the national radio and television network), still in the hands of Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing President who does not recognise his defeat during the elections held in November 2010.

“Without control of these three structures Ouattara can not establish himself in the eyes of Ivorians as the legitimate authority of the Country,” local Church sources told Fides.

Source: UCAN/Fides/Caritas

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