3 Jan 2011

UN checking abuses of human rights in Ivory Coast

4:16 pm on 3 January 2011

United Nations forces in Ivory Coast have been instructed to visit areas where abuses of human rights abuses are reported to have taken place and record any cases.

The country has been in crisis since incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after a disputed election on 28 November.

The subsequent death toll is estimated at between 170 and 200 people.

The election was supposed to heal the nation after a civil war in 2002 - 2003.

The Ivory Coast Electoral Commission, France, the ECOWAS regional bloc and the UN General Assembly have recognised rival candidate Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the election.

But Mr Gbagbo reiterated a call on state television on Saturday for UN forces to leave the country, accusing them of opening fire on civilians.