I. Coast reconciliation panel raps Abidjan violence
8/10/2012 4:10:04 PM -
ABIDJAN (AFP) - The head of the post-war reconciliation panel in Ivory Coast, Charles Konan Banny, on Friday condemned deadly attacks in Abidjan and urged people to renounce violence and support the authorities.
"Turn your backs on violence in any form," said the former prime minister, who heads a Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation (CDVR) set up in the wake of post-electoral bloodshed in 2010-2011.
Banny warned that Ivory Coast was plunging back into a "harmful climate" with the killings that were "an extension of the verbal violence, expressions of hatred, that have studded the past few weeks" in the local press.
In a series of attacks on August 5 and 6, ten soldiers were killed in the west African country's economic capital. The government has blamed supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to recognise that he had lost elections in November 2010 led to a five-month crisis marked by bloodshed, in which at least 3,000 people died.
Pleading for "confidence (and) dialogue", Banny urged President Alassane Ouattara and the government to note that the success of reconciliation efforts depended on their determination to do "everything in their power to lift the obstacles that stand in the way of the CDVR".
"We are waiting for a clear and permanent sign of the political will to see Ivorians united without consideration for divisions of any sort," he said.
"This will also happen by way of the confirmation of the independence of the commission and by scrupulous respect for peace and justice."
The Ivorian Popular Front party that backed Gbagbo, who is now detained in The Hague by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity, did not respond directly to the attacks on the soldiers but said it condemned bloodshed.
"The FPI leadership condemns with the utmost vigour this wave of deadly violence," the party said, while also calling on the government to capture the attackers.
Sources close to Banny said the CDVR lacked the financial resources to do its job properly and questioned several arrests that have targeted ex-supporters of Gbagbo.
Banny said that "there can be no reconciliation without acknowledgement of the fault committed" and added that his panel "will not distinguish between sides among those involved in reconciliation."