A UN human rights expert, Mr. Doudou Diene, says Cote d’Ivoire must adopt urgent reforms before the presidential elections in October. PANA reports that Mr. Diene made the statement on Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York following a 13-day official visit to the country.
The expert, who is charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the situation of human rights in Cote d’Ivoire, urged the Ivorian authorities to accelerate the resolution of substantive issues, including the reform of the Independent Electoral Commission and the updating of the electoral list.
He said that during the visit, he met with officials, civil society and members of the diplomatic corps.
He also urged officials in the country to speed up 'the unbiased reintegration of ex-combatants, and the organisation of trials related to the post-election crisis, as well as reparation for victims of the crisis'.
The human rights expert welcomed the improved security situation, supported by authorities establishing State institutions and re-launching the political dialogue between the government and the opposition.
'I encourage the different political parties to refrain from divisive comments that could undermine the success of the ongoing political talks,' Mr. Diene said.
He also acknowledged the authorities’ efforts to re-establish the rule of law and reinforce the democratic process that included extending the mandates of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Investigation Cell, provisionally releasing detainees linked to the electoral crisis.
He further urged exiles to return to the country.
On the challenges in the country, Mr. Diene expressed concern at the slow pace of judicial proceedings in following up the recommendations of the National Commission of Inquiry, which had reported that grave human rights violations were committed by both sides during the crisis.
PANA learnt that the recommendations are part of a comprehensive report that the expert will present to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council next month.
Cote d'Ivoire was split by civil war in 2002.
A 2010 presidential election, meant to be a culminating point in the peace process, resulted in months of violence when Mr. Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to Mr. Alassane Ouattara.
Mr. Gbagbo finally surrendered the following April.