UN: More Than 170 Killed in Ivory Coast Violence

A United Nations official says more than 170 people have been killed over the past week in Ivory Coast, which remains locked in a post-election crisis.

Diplomats discussed Ivory Coast at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Thursday.

The U.N. deputy human rights chief, Kyung-wha Kang, said the U.N. has substantiated at least 173 killings, 90 cases of torture, 471 arrests, and 24 cases of people disappearing in a five-day period beginning last Thursday.

Officials also said U.N. personnel were blocked from investigating the sites of alleged mass graves in the main city, Abidjan.

Incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has refused to cede his office to rival Alassane Ouattara, who most countries recognize as the winner of last month’s presidential election.

On Wednesday, Ouattara’s prime minister, Guillaume Soro, urged the international community to depose Gbagbo through the use of force.

On Wednesday, the United States said it is talking with African nations about boosting the 10,000-person U.N. peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast.

U.S. officials said any move to increase the force would not be aimed at removing Gbagbo, but rather to deter him from using his own forces to stay in power.

West African leaders plan to hold an emergency summit Friday to discuss the crisis.

The presidential election was meant to restore stability to Ivory Coast, eight years after a civil war split the country into rebel- and government-controlled areas.

Gbagbo has ruled the country since 2000. His term officially ended in 2005, but he remained in office through repeated election delays.

VOA

The VOA is the Voice of America

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