Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ivory Coast 'on brink of genocide'

Ivory Coast 'on brink of genocide'
Ivory Coast's new ambassador to the United Nations fears the country is on the brink of genocide, saying houses have been marked according to their occupants' tribe.

Youssoufou Bamba says the UN has a duty to force losing presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo to step down as Ivory Coast's leader.

"We are on the brink of genocide, something should be done," he said.

The UN human rights team on the ground say nearly 200 people have been killed and 90 tortured in the last couple of weeks.

The UN has around 9,000 peacekeepers in Ivory Coast, but the situation is becoming increasingly tense as they face down pro-Gbagbo supporters.

Mr Gbagbo's most notorious lieutenant, youth chief Charles Ble Goude, has urged the strongman's diehard supporters to launch an unarmed assault on rival Alassane Ouattara's UN-defended base.

Mr Gbagbo has called on the UN to leave immediately after their decision to recognise his rival as the winner of the elections.

Chief UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy has accused Mr Gbagbo's state media of "inciting hatred" against UN troops to turn the population against them and make their already dangerous mission impossible.


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