UN Assembly recognizes Ivory Coast’s new president

The United Nations General Assembly late Thursday unanimously accepted the envoy sent to New York by Alassane Ouattara, amounting to diplomatic recognition for the internationally accepted winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential election.

The 192-country General Assembly recognized Youssouf Bamba as Ivory Coast’s UN ambassador, while withdrawing the UN accreditation of the country’s previous ambassador, who was appointed by previous president Laurent Gbagbo.

There was no formal resolution of recognition beyond the diplomatic accreditation.

Earlier on Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council denounced what it said were severe abuses in the Ivory Coast, where disputed election results have led to violence and instability.

The Human Rights Council’s resolution was passed as the UN confirmed that 173 people have died since the crisis began on December 16, after the incumbent Mr. Gbagbo refused to cede power to Mr. Ouattara, the candidate seen by the world as the rightful winner of last month’s presidential race.

In Thursday’s resolution, the Human Rights Council said it “strongly condemns” a long list of suspected offences in Ivory Coast, including abductions, summary executions and acts of sexual violence.

The council’s special session was held at the request of countries in Africa and Europe, as well as the United States.

It called on “all the relevant parties to immediately put an end to all human rights violations in Cote d’Ivoire and to fully respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” The resolution, which has no enforcement mechanism, said the Ivory Coast government must “investigate and bring to justice perpetrators of violations of human rights.” Ivory Coast held elections in November with the aim of healing the divisions from a 2002 civil war that split the country into the mainly Muslim north, which backs Mr. Ouattara, and Christian south, where Mr. Gbagbo holds sway.

Mr. Ouattara’s camp says that people have been killed and wounded as part of Mr. Gbagbo’s crackdown, which reportedly has seen Liberian and Angolan mercenaries operating death squads. The UN has confirmed the presence of Liberian forces in Ivory Coast.

A senior UN human rights official, Kyung-wha Kang, said she found “particularly alarming” the use of media outlets “to incite hatred and violence among the population.” Human rights organization Amnesty International has said that “all those responsible for human rights abuses (should) be held accountable.” An early draft of the Human Rights Council resolution had suggested a call for respecting “the will of the people as well as the restoration of democracy,” but the passage was dropped from the final text.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 4:58:31 PM |

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