Ivory Coast minister admits killings
Published 16/04/2011 | 05:00
The Ivory Coast's new justice minister said yesterday that both sides in the country's brutal conflict had "blood on their hands" and that supporters of the new president, Alassane Ouattara, had killed those of his defeated rival, Laurent Gbagbo.
Jeannot Ahoussou said that while most atrocities had been committed in the capital by fighters loyal to the defeated Mr Gbagbo, the new president's forces had been involved in the killing of up to 70 people in Duekoue, a Gbagbo stronghold in the west.
The United Nations said 330 people were killed when Mr Ouattara's forces moved south through the town, but added that 100 of them were killed by Mr Gbagbo's militia.
Footage showed UN troops admonishing Mr Ouattara's soldiers for killing Mr Gbagbo's fighters rather than taking them captive.
The minister's acknowledgement that both sides were involved in the killing will ease concerns over the impartiality of the planned Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which will investigate alleged atrocities. (© Daily Telegraph, London)