UN: Gbagbo forces behind Abidjan 'atrocity'
World body says forces loyal to incumbent Ivorian president opened fire on civilians, killing about a dozen.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2011 16:18
The UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) has released a statement saying forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the country's incumbent leader, opened fire on civilians in Abidjan on Monday, killing about a dozen people.
The organisation said that in another incident, a group of pro-Gbagbo youths put a tyre around a young man and burnt him alive in the Riviera area of the city, and that another group "savagely attacked" two UN staff.
"With the increase in human rights violations and barbaric practices, there are grounds for wondering whether President Gbagbo is still in charge of his forces and supporters," Tuesday's statement said.
"UNOCI believes it is imperative to end this spiral of violence by finding a definitive solution to the political impasse which stemmed from the post-electoral crisis."
Gbagbo's camp was not immediately available to comment on the UN statement.
The UN statement came as forces loyal to Ouattara, the internationally-recognised winner of the country's presidential elections in November, seized the towns of Daloa, Bondoukou and Belleville.
On Monday, pro-Outtara forces took control of the town of Duekoue.
A source in the pro-Gbagbo military said Daloa and Duekoue had fallen, but fighting continued in parts of Duekoue.
"The combat was very violent in Daloa the whole night, but we couldn't keep our positions ... It has fallen into rebel hands," the source said.
The capture of Daloa and Duekoue, potentially open up a route to the major exporting port of San Pedro and the area the supporters of Outaeea now control produces about 600,000 tonnes of cocoa a year, half of Cote d'Ivoire's output.
San Pedro ships out about that amount each year.