Horror in Ivory Coast as hundreds of bodies litter streets

[Ivan Makabe, Ivory Coast Contributor]

BBC News: Ivory Coast‘s new president is in trouble as the UN secretary general has instructed him to look into hundreds of deaths in the country which have been attributed to his followers.

Reports from the town of Duekoue say that hundreds of dead bodies have been found by UN workers who are complaining that they are down to the president and his supporters.  In the meantime, in Abidjan, fighting is continuing between the sides loyal to the incoming and outgoing presidents with Mr. Ouattrara’s forces reported to be in the ascendency. French forces have seized the country’s main airport.

Andrew Harding of BBC News reports on the massacre in Duekoue:-

I’m walking down the street here in Duekoue and there are bodies all around me. They’re being brought out by Red Cross workers, pulling them out of the bushes, they’re being wrapped in plastic.  I’ve seen 30-40 already, and that’s just a fraction of what they’ve collected over the past few days. They’re taking the bodies to a mass grave that they’re just digging now nearby. The situation in the town remains very unstable. It’s held now by Alassane Ouattara’s forces – we’ve been talking to a lot of them. They deny any role in these atrocities.  We understand that at a church where thousands of civilians are taking shelter there has been more friction, more instability. The UN is rushing there now to see if they can prevent more trouble.

The fighting in Duekoue took place over the past few days between supporters of the vying presidents. According the UN’s report on Saturday, more than 330 people had  perished under the hands of  Mr Ouattara’s forces when they took Duekoue and around 100 by Mr. Gbagbo‘s (ex-president) fighters.

The UN secretary general has said that:  “The secretary general said those responsible should be held accountable”. UN officials investigating the killings say that probably more than 1000 were killed.

France‘s military force in Ivory Coast has been upped with 1,400 of its military personnel assigned to the country.

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