Human Rights Watch warned today that Ivory Coast's military has undertaken a swift, brutal and illegal campaign of arbitrary arrest and detention in response to violence that ensued following last year's post-election crisis.
Its 73-page report released today detailed army measures, with hundreds of people arbitrarily arrested and held illegally at military camps, where they have been subject to beatings and other forms of abuse.
The group said the victims were mostly perceived allies of former president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to cede office after losing the November 2010 election to now-President Alassane Ouattara (pictured) sparked five months of violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives.
"Soldiers often arrived in neighbourhoods in military cargo trucks and forced 20 or more perceived pro-Gbagbo youth to board," the watchdog group reported.
"Hundreds of young men appear to have been rounded up and detained, largely on the basis of their ethnicity and place of residence."