BY EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA – The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, yesterday expressed shock over the reported massacre of civilians in Duékoué, western region of Côte d’Ivoire.
In a statement, the Commission condemned “this heinous act and wishes to state that it will actively support any action to bring the perpetrators to justice at the appropriate time.”
It further stated that “in this regard, the Commission welcomes the pledge by the UN Human Rights Council to speed up the implementation of the decisions contained in the Council’s Resolution by immediately dispatching a team to investigate human rights violations in the country.
“The Commission also deprecates “the use of unarmed civilians as human shield in areas of conflict and reiterates that those who incite unarmed civilians to risk their lives needlessly will be held accountable for their action.”
The Commission is persuaded that it was only the unconditional acceptance by the out-going President, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, of the verdict of his compatriots as expressed in the November 28, 2010, presidential election, and which is supported overwhelmingly by the international community, that will ensure the early termination of the tragedy that had befallen the country.