Ivory Coast Forces Accused Of Extortion, Killings

By Salon Staff

Published March 3, 2012 3:18PM (EST)

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Witnesses and rights groups say security forces in Ivory Coast are extorting and killing civilians.

Human Rights Watch researcher Matt Wells says former combatants loyal to President Alassane Ouattara have engaged in "extortion and criminality." A military official says soldiers recently killed a man who witnesses say refused to give money to members of Ouattara's forces. Capt. Leon Alla Kouakou says the soldiers were arrested.

Military officials say government forces killed 10 people in December in two towns.

Ivory Coast was plunged into violence after a disputed 2010 presidential election. Former strongman Laurent Gbagbo awaits trial at The Hague over accusations that his forces committed murder and rape.

Prosecutors say about 3,000 people died in violence by both sides.

Salon Staff

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