LONDON, July 28 (UPI) — The Ivorian government is called on to create an accountable state security force capable of impartial protection of all civilians, Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International, in a 44-page report, said Ivorian forces and government-backed militia are creating a “climate of fear” that is discouraging displaced residents from returning to their homes.
The report accuses the state-backed militia known as Dozos of targeting perceived supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo. Amnesty International said it was particularly troubled because state security forces gave Dozo militias responsibility over guarding some checkpoints in the country.
“President (Alassane) Ouattara and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro must work hard to create a security force that is impartial and who can protect all Ivorian citizens regardless of their ethnic group,” Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s West Africa researcher, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the advocacy group blamed Liberian mercenaries and pro-Gbagbo fighters for killing dozens of Ouattara backers in May.
The international community recognized Ouattara as the winner of a November presidential election. Gbagbo refused to stand down, however, and political violence pushed the country to the brink of civil war.
Ouattara called on the international courts to investigate the violence. Rights groups accuse both sides of committing atrocities.