Background Briefing

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The Forces Nouvelles have also attacked and killed civilians suspected of supporting the government or ruling political party, enemy combatants and officials and, more recently, suspected rivals and their supporters in clashes between two rebel factions. In 2002-2003 Liberian and Sierra Leonean fighters allied to the MPIGO and MJP committed numerous abuses against civilians in the west, including killings, rape, and systematic looting of civilian property. All Ivoiran rebel factions have frequently recruited and used child combatants.6 The New Forces presently exercise military, economic, and administrative control over some fifty percent of the country. Several notable incidents involving rebel factions are as follows:

  • MPCI forces summarily executed over fifty gendarmes and members of their families in Bouaké in October 2002, and executed dozens of other government officials, government supporters, and members of civilian self-defense committees in other locations in the north and west.

  • Members of the Ivorian rebel groups and Liberian recruits allied to the MPIGO group were responsible for the summary executions of dozens of Ivorian civilians in the west, including at least forty civilians killed in Dah village in March 2003.

  • In 2002-2003 Liberian fighters linked to the former government in Liberia of Charles Taylor and allied to the MPIGO rebel groups systematically looted the property of civilians around Danané, Zouan-Hounien, and Toulepleu and committed numerous executions and other serious acts of violence against civilians.

  • Some 100 people were allegedly executed or died in detention in and around Korhogo in June 2004 during clashes between supporters of rebel leader Guillaume Soro and rival counterpart Ibrahim Coulibaly.

    [6] See “Trapped Between Two Wars,” pp. 24-41.

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