Trial of Ivory Coast election massacre suspect begins

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A trial related to one of the worst massacres during Ivory Coast’s post-election crisis of 2010-2011 started on Wednesday.

It is a long-awaited trial that could determine who were the accomplices of former militia leader Amade Oueremi in the massacre in the western town of Duekoue.

Mr Oueremi is accused of war crimes.

He is the only defendant being prosecuted in the case where hundreds of people were arrested and killed amid political clashes and ethnic tensions fuelled by land disputes.

According to several NGOs, Mr Oueremi’s militia was also responsible for the destruction of a displaced people’s camp in Nahibly, near Duekoue, in July 2012.

He was arrested 10 months later by the Ivorian military (FRCI) while hiding in one of the classified forests of the country, where he was living from timber trafficking and the farming and sale of cocoa beans.

The Côte d’Ivoire Victims’ Collective (COVICI) group says the former militia leader should not be the only person being prosecuted.

But the appearance of Mr Oueremi in court is seen as a beginning to seeking justice for the thousands of victims.