I Coast militia boss arrested

2013-05-19 18:49
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Abidjan - A militia chief in Ivory Coast, suspected of taking part in deadly post-election violence in 2011, was arrested on Saturday in his western stronghold, a military source said.

Amade Oueremi, the head of an armed group that for years has occupied the Mont Peko forest in western Ivory Coast, "surrendered" to an Ivorian army detachment, a source in army headquarters told AFP.

"His men are in the process of being disarmed," the source added.

Rights groups suspect Oueremi, of Burkinabe origin, of involvement in the killings that took place in Duekoue in March 2011, during the country's post-election unrest that left some 3 000 people dead.

From his forest stronghold, Oueremi and his men, estimated at several hundred, have defied the authority of the state for a decade in a region rich in cocoa, of which Ivory Coast is the world's top producer.

Their occupation has concerned the government of President Alassane Ouattara as it tries to bring security to the west of the country.

Ouattara took office after the April 2011 arrest of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to accept election defeat, drawing the country into a bloddy conflict that claimed 3 000 lives.

He is now facing trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Read more on:    alassane ouattara  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
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