At least 210 killed in Ivory Coast unrest: UN

At least 210 people have been killed in I Coast since a presidential stand-off escalated in December.

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 21:39 PM IST

Abidjan: At least 210 people have been killed
in Ivory Coast since a presidential stand-off escalated in
mid-December, the United Nations mission in the crisis-hit
west African nation said on Thursday.

At least 31 people have died since the last toll given by
the United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) on December
30, the mission`s human rights spokesman Simon Munzu told
journalists, bringing the total to 210.

The toll includes those killed during the crisis pitting
incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo against the man the world says
won a November 28 presidential run-off, Alassane Ouattara, and
ethnic unrest in the west of the country.

Munzu said 14 had been killed in ethnic clashes in the
western town of Duekoue since the start of the week.

He said the clashes between members of the Guere and
Malinke ethnic groups in the town around 500 km west of the
commercial capital Abidjan followed the death of a woman
during a robbery.

He declined to make a direct link with the presidential
crisis in Abidjan, but said, "We feel that what happened in
Duekoue is a reflection of the tendency towards intercommunal
tension and violence."

The death toll counts those killed since troops loyal to
Gbagbo shot dead several of Ouattara`s supporters as they
marched on state television on December 16.

Ouattara remains besieged in his camp`s temporary
headquarters at a hotel resort in Abidjan despite intensive
regional mediation efforts aimed at ending the deadly
stand-off.

UN rights experts said last week they feared reports of
widespread post election violence in the Ivory Coast amounted
to crimes against humanity. The UN has said that it has been
prevented from fully investigating alleged atrocities,
including reports of mass graves.

PTI