Press Esc to close
Saturday 19 August 2017
News updated at 3:30 AM IST

Liberian mercenaries 'loot, rape and kill' in I Coast: UNHCR

Last updated: 26 March, 2011
Abidjan, Mar 25 (AFP) 14:15 IST

Hundreds of Liberian ''mercenaries'' have gone on a rampage of rape, murder and looting in the western Ivory Coast region of Guiglo, a virtual lawless zone, the UN refugee agency said today.

Spokesman Jacques Franquin told AFP the mercenaries were an opportunistic "third force" taking advantage of post-election clashes between troops loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo and those supporting internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara.

"They are neither pro-Gbagbo nor pro-Ouattara, they are merely profiting from the situation. They loot, they rape, they kill," said Franquin, of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Abidjan.

"We are very concerned, the population is panicked." "Guiglo is in a lawless zone, there is no functioning police, everyone does what they want."

The west of the country which borders Liberia has been a hotbed of violence in the post-election dispute along with the economic capital Abidjan. The United Nations mission (UNOCI) said yesterday a UNHCR warehouse was looted and attacked in the region, which Franquin confirmed, saying the attack was by "militia and people speaking English, probably Liberians."

He said on Wednesday "they stole an HCR vehicle. We later saw them in town with a machine gun on the roof. A little while later another group arrived, they stole a 4x4, a broken pick-up and two motorbikes." "That night, it was fireworks. They emptied out an HCR office, carrying out furniture, computers and more than 12 motorbikes. They loaded everything onto a truck.

"There are about 20,000 displaced in Duekoue and tens of thousands in Guiglo. In the latter, between 500 and 1,000 people gathered in front of the UNOCI base to seek protection," added Franquin.

According to the UNHCR spokesman it had become "nearly impossible" to work in the region. The UN human rights office said today it was looking into unconfirmed allegations that about 200 west African nationals including people from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo, have been killed in the west around the town of Guiglo.

Thousands of people fled fighting between troops loyal to the rival presidents this week in the area. Guiglo and Duekoue are key crossroads leading east to the political capital Yamassoukro and south to San Pedro, the world's biggest cocoa exporting port.

Many Liberian mercenaries took part in the Ivorian conflict, on both sides, in 2002. Liberian militias sent by then president Charles Taylor backed rebels trying to oust Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who armed the anti-Taylor movement MODEL.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A  file photo of  Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka...

A file photo of Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka...

Trainee recruits of Army undergo physical training at the Parachute Regiment Training...

Trainee recruits of Army undergo physical training at the Parachute Regiment Training...

A Chimpanzee looks on, at Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata...

A Chimpanzee looks on, at Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata...

A beautiful view of peacock on blooming tree branch at Bengre in Mangaluru...

A beautiful view of peacock on blooming tree branch at Bengre in Mangaluru...

People with their household belongings move to a relief camp from a flood-hit region...

People with their household belongings move to a relief camp from a flood-hit region...

Village women carry a Tri-colour as they row a boat across River Churni during Independence...

Village women carry a Tri-colour as they row a boat across River Churni during Independence...

An aerial view of a flood-hit area at Bal Bal in Betiah in West Chaparan, Bihar...

An aerial view of a flood-hit area at Bal Bal in Betiah in West Chaparan, Bihar...

A boy rows a makeshift raft as he transports a woman and a cooking gas cylinder through...

A boy rows a makeshift raft as he transports a woman and a cooking gas cylinder through...

A fruit vendor, holding an umbrella, waits for customers at a street in Kolkata on Thursday.

A fruit vendor, holding an umbrella, waits for customers at a street in Kolkata on Thursday.

Ranbir Kapoor, actor and co-owner Mumbai City FC meeting fans during the Indian Super League...

Ranbir Kapoor, actor and co-owner Mumbai City FC meeting fans during the Indian Super League...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.