Background Briefing

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To the Government of Côte d’Ivoire:

  • Take all necessary measures to ensure that the security forces respect international humanitarian and human rights law. Take immediate steps, including disciplinary action, to end all attacks by members of the security forces and militias on civilians.
  • Stop using and supporting militias and political party members for security functions legally reserved for the police and gendarmes, including checkpoint supervision; investigate and prosecute members of any such group against whom there are allegations of abuse.
  • Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and urge passage of necessary legislation to ensure its implementation.
  • Lodge an ad hoc declaration accepting the exercise of jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court with the ICC Registrar pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute.
  • Cooperate fully with any possible ICC investigation.

To the Forces Nouvelles:

  • Take necessary steps to end human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, particularly attacks on civilians.
  • End the recruitment of all children under the age of 18 and ensure that child soldiers are promptly disarmed, demobilized, provided adequate humanitarian assistance and handed over to child protection agencies for reintegration into their communities.
  • Cooperation fully with any possible ICC investigation

To the U.N. Commission of Inquiry:

  • Include in the commission’s final report concrete, specific recommendations to the U.N. Security Council on holding accountable all persons responsible for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed since 1999.
  • In light of concerns about the Ivorian government’s ability and willingness to try these crimes, ensure that the recommendations include a judicial mechanism with significant support and engagement from the international community.
  • Ensure that a complete version of the commission’s final report be made available to the public.

To the United Nations Secretary-General:

  • Upon completion of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, and as requested in the May 25, 2004 statement by the U.N. Security Council president, present recommendations to the Security Council on possible options for international assistance in support of justice.

To the Security Council:

  • Follow through with the commitment to pursue a path of accountability for the perpetrators of serious human rights crimes in accordance with previous statements by the Council.
  • Act promptly to follow through with recommendations made by the U.N. Secretary-General on possible options for international assistance in support of justice.

To the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States:

  • Ensure adequate support for the second fact-finding mission to Côte d’Ivoire by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • Support efforts by the international community to establish a mechanism to ensure an end to impunity for the serious human rights crimes that have taken place in Côte d’Ivoire since 1999.

To the United States, France, the European Union, and other donors:

  • Condition provision of all military or police assistance to the Ivorian government, with the exception of human rights training programs, until the government has demonstrated that it will investigate and prosecute in accordance with international standards alleged human rights and humanitarian law violations by security forces.
  • Should the government demonstrate a commitment to bring genuine reform to its criminal justice system, prioritize programs to strengthen the Ivorian judiciary and other institutions essential to establish the rule of law.
  • Provide adequate financial and political support to any judicial mechanism set up to ensure accountability for perpetrators of serious crimes.

<<previous  |  indexOctober 2004