Amnesty called on the United Nations peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast to urgently protect thousands of displaced people sheltering in a Catholic mission in the west of the country amid fierce fighting.
As many as 10,000 civilians are sheltering in the mission in the town of Duekoue after fierce battles on Tuesday between forces supporting the internationally recognised elected President Alassane Ouattara and militiamen loyal to defeated president Laurent Gbagbo.
Senior Amnesty activist Veronique Aubert said: “The United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) mandate in Cote d’Ivoire requires the peacekeepers to protect civilians at imminent threat of physical violence.
“They must act immediately to prevent further bloodshed.”
The UNOCI camp is only about two miles away from Duekoue.
The situation in the west of Ivory Coast has been volatile since the November 2010 contested presidential elections.
All parties to the conflict have committed serious human rights violations.