UN Finds Bodies Burned Alive in Ivory Coast

Meanwhile, Ouattara wants sanctions lifted so he can restart cocoa trade
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2011 9:15 AM CDT
People displaced by violence walk along a road in Guiglo, where 60 of the bodies were found, on April 3, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – With the exporting port of San Pedro under his control and Laurent Gbagbo squirreled away in an underground tunnel, Alassane Ouattara is asking the EU to lift its sanctions on the Ivory Coast, and let him restart the country’s lucrative cocoa trade, the BBC reports. But the situation in the country isn’t as tidy as it might seem: Some 115 bodies have been found in the past 24 hours, many of them burned alive and others thrown down a well, the UN announced today. "All the incidents appear at least partly ethnically motivated," said a UN rep, who noted that he wasn't sure who was responsible for the killings.

In Abidjan, chaos ruled. “There are armed rebel groups who don’t know which side they are on looting not only private homes but some stocks of humanitarian agencies,” said one UN rep. Much of the violence appeared to be ethnically motivated; Ouattara’s rebels have even been accused of going door-to-door looking for members of Gbagbo’s ethnic group, the New York Times reports. Ouattara’s international backers are also concerned about reports that his fighters have killed hundreds in the west. (Read more Alassane Ouattara stories.)

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