I Coast hit squads target opponents in Ghana

2013-12-02 13:19
Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (Picture: AFP)

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Ivory Coast sent hit squads to Ghana to kill followers of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo and paid Liberian mercenaries not to stage cross-border attacks for Gbagbo, a UN report said.

The Ghana government told United Nations sanctions experts they had "foiled" at least two missions this year by Ivory Coast agents to kill or abduct Gbagbo associates, said the report obtained by AFP Sunday.

Payments were made to Liberian mercenaries and Ivory Coast militia commanders in a bid to head off attacks aimed at destabilizing President Alassane Ouattara's government.

The report to the Security Council by experts who monitor the UN sanctions against Liberia cast new light on efforts by Ouattara's government to blunt the threat from Gbagbo, whose refusal to concede defeat in a 2010 presidential election sparked unrest in which thousands died.

Gbagbo is now at the International Criminal Court in The Hague facing charges of crimes against humanity. But several cross-border attacks were staged from Liberia in 2012 and the UN mission in Ivory Coast has said several times that new incidents are possible.

The Ghanaian government told the UN experts in July that its neighbor had been sending Ivorian agents intending to assassinate or kidnap militant pro-Gbagbo refugees.

"The Ghanaian authorities claimed to have foiled at least two such missions in early 2013," said the report.

Key Liberian mercenaries

At least one former Gbagbo supporter who had returned to Ivory Coast "had been abducted and had disappeared", it added.

The experts said they had been unable to "independently verify" the claims.

But they met several former Gbagbo ministers in Accra who said they wanted to return "but were afraid that they would be killed if they succeeded".

Gbagbo refused to accept the result of the presidential election in late 2010. At least 3 000 people died in five months of unrest before he was captured in an operation backed by UN and French forces.

Ivory Coast was gripped by civil war for much of the previous two decades. Ouattara has embarked on reconciliation efforts but has been urged to move faster and to clamp down on corruption.

The UN experts said they had "gathered substantive information" concerning payments made from May this year by the Ivory Coast government to "key Liberian mercenaries".

Two of the mercenary leaders were identified as Isaac Chegbo, who is also known as "Bob Marley" and Augustine "Bush Dog" Vleyee.

Money was paid for "collecting information from these individuals and discouraging them from conducting cross-border attacks," said the report.

It said the payments were made by the Ivory Coast interior ministry's bureau of operational intelligence.

Tensions

Seven peacekeepers were killed in one cross-border attack from Liberia in June 2012. The border region has been quiet this year, however, despite fears raised by the UN leadership.

The mercenaries told the UN sanctions experts they were taken to Abidjan to receive money. One said he was given $8 000 but others said they got as little as $2 000.

"Several of the mercenaries who had received such payments complained that they had been promised substantially more money," the report said. The mercenaries "alleged that additional financing had been misappropriated by Ivorian officials" and the Liberian intermediary.

The UN report said that while attacks had diminished this year, the payments were not a "sustainable" way of keeping the lid on tensions in the country.

It also said Ivory Coast had failed to tell Liberian counterparts about the payments or other moves to sway Gbabgo followers in Liberia.

An Ivory Coast mission accompanied by a UN official from Abidjan that went to a refugee camp in Liberia in May was briefly detained by Liberian authorities who had not been warned in advance, said the report.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  un  |  laurent gbabgo  |  alassane ouattara  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.