BaumannGrammars - Chapter 07
On 26 October 2000, Laurent Gbagbo, leader of the Socialist Party FPI
claimed victory over General Robert Guéï in the Ivorian presidential elections.
1 One day later, some fifty-seven corpses, mostly of young men, were
discovered in a mass-grave in the suburb Yopougon of the capital Abidjan.
Many hundreds of civilians, protesters, militants of different political parties,
and security forces were killed in street violence over the following days. It
was, however, the mass-grave that caught international attention. The United
Nations established a Commission of Enquiry that identified the perpetrators
as members of the security forces and their henchmen as civilians, some of
them militants of the victorious Socialist Party FPI (United Nations 2001:
17). Most prominent among the executioners, the report said, were state
policemen (gendarmes) who wanted to take vengeance for the killing of one
of their commanding officers. The policemen had attributed this murder, as
well as other aggressions in Abidjan, to militant members of the Republican
Party RDR (Rassemblement des Républicains) who had been massively contesting
the presidential elections because their leader, Alassane Ouattara, had
been excluded from standing as a candidate.