Cote d’Ivoire: SA’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu urges Impartial Peace Panel

Published on allAfrica, by Radio Netherlands worldwide, Sept. 28, 2011.

Any suggestion that victor’s justice is being applied in Ivory Coast would undermine attempts to overcome its post-election bloodshed, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Tuesday. Tutu spoke on the eve of the launch of a reconciliation commission tasked with healing wounds from the months-long conflict in Ivory Coast in which at least 3,000 died. The Commission on Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation CDVR will be inaugurated in Yamoussoukro on Wednesday with the aim of bringing peace and rebuilding the social fabric of the once west African powerhouse.  

Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in his country after the end of apartheid.

“We encourage President (Alassane) Ouattara to demonstrate to his people and the world that the judicial process he has started is both fair and completely impartial,” the archbishop said in a statement by the Elders, the rights group he chairs.

Tutu added: “We are convinced that the perception that ‘victor’s justice’ is being applied would greatly undermine the reconciliation process.”

The Ivorian panel will have to deal with the decade of turmoil, coup attempts, political and sometimes ethnic-religious violence, that culminated in the post-poll unrest from last December to April … (full text).

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