24 Dec 2010

UN recognises Ivory Coast's rightful president

2:07 pm on 24 December 2010

More financial and political pressure is being applied to Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast president who is refusing to stand down.

The United Nations General Assembly has now formally recognised Mr Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara, as Ivory Coast's rightful president following November's presidential election - and the Central Bank of the West African Economic and Monetary Union has done the same.

The UN Human Rights Commission says nearly 200 people - 170 of them in just the past week - have been killed in post-election violence.

Many Ivorians say they are fearing for their lives as armed men roam around the main cities. The Human Rights Commission says nearly 500 people have been arrested and 90 have been tortured.

At a special session in Geneva, the commission unanimously adopted a resolution condemning what member states called atrocities.

The head of the Africa branch of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ibrahim Wahnee, says there is little doubt that deaths, abductions and harrassment in Ivory Coast are linked to the election.

The United States permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Betty King, says reports of mass human rights violations must be investigated.