Côte d’Ivoire: Government Abuses in Response to Army Revolt

Côte d'Ivoire is facing a political crisis that poses a serious risk that the country could plunge into the sort of brutal war well known to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The crisis is rooted in well-established divisions within Ivorian society and in particular within the military, divisions that have been deliberately exacerbated by government policy over the last few years. This is in turn linked to the government's failure to address the violence and intimidation that marred the presidential and parliamentary elections of late 2000. That this downward spiral in respect for human rights continues is not inevitable. But if it is to be avoided, both sides of the conflict must adopt inclusive policies to guarantee the protection of the rights of all people in Côte d'Ivoire regardless of their ethnic, religious, national, or political identity. The impunity so far enjoyed for past and present human rights violations must also be addressed.