Côte d'Ivoire

Ivorian government rejects UN human rights report

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Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) - The Ivorian government has rejected the latest report on the country by the UN High Commission for Human Rights as a "step backwards" in the search for the truth.

A government statement said the report dated 24 January was full of "ambiguities and inaccuracies" and showed the "bias of its authors".

It said the alleged bias related to comments on the country's constitution, the concept of "Ivoirite, rural land and national identity".

The statement also criticised the "omissions" by the Commission and its alleged sympathy for those behind Côte d'Ivoire's five-month-old rebellion.

It also rejected the Commission's suggestion that the Ivorian government and President Laurent Gbagbo were responsible for the crimes committed by the so-called "death squads," saying the insinuation violated the principle of "presumption of innocence," which the Commission was supposed to protect.

The report followed the 2-29 December 2002 fact-finding mission led by Bertrand Ramcharan, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, to Côte d'Ivoire.

"The mission collected information specifying that the death squads are reportedly made up of elements close to the government and a tribal militia of the President's ethnic group," the report said.

Pan African News Agency
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