3082nd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 12 April 2011
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
“1. Following the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, the EU welcomes the declaration of President Ouattara that he intends to pursue a policy of reconciliation and reconstruction in Côte d’Ivoire. It appeals to all parties to refrain immediately from any further acts of violence or intimidation. The EU stresses the need for full cooperation with the legitimate authorities in the swift re-establishment of law and order throughout the country. It is imperative to create as soon as possible conditions in which all citizens can, without fear or harassment, return to their homes and work, and resume a normal life in peace and security. The EU pledges its support for the creation of those conditions and for the restoration of social and political harmony. This is an historic opportunity.
2. The EU welcomes President Ouattara’s commitment to achieving national reconciliation. It stands ready to support the work of the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and encourages President Ouattara to form an inclusive, broad-based government representative of all the regions and all strands of political opinion in the country. The reconciliation process will lay the foundations of the country’s recovery. To this end, the EU acknowledges the importance of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and the reform of the security sector. It urges the International Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations established by the UN Human Rights Council on 25 March 2011 to investigate the allegations of such violations as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. As the EU has said repeatedly on previous occasions, all those found responsible for such crimes must be held accountable for their acts. In this context, it welcomes President Ouattara’s commitment to fight impunity and to support the work of the International Commission. Impunity cannot be allowed to undermine the re-establishment of public confidence in the government and the security forces.
3. The EU considers that the united stance of the International Community has been crucial in the resolution of this crisis. It recognises the unity of purpose demonstrated by the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the African Union (AU). The United Nations (UN) has also played a particularly crucial part. The EU welcomes the essential and continuing role of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), assisted by the French force “Licorne”, in protecting the civilian population in Côte d’Ivoire in line with its mandate and UN Security Council resolution 1975.
4. The EU affirms its willingness to support the rapid economic reconstruction of the country. In order the assist the re-launch of the economy of Côte d’Ivoire and in response to the public request of President Ouattara, the Council has decided to lift restrictive measures on the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, the Ivorian Refining Company and the Coffee and Cocoa Trade Management Committee with immediate effect. In consultation with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, it will consider lifting further measures to reflect the changing circumstances. The EU is preparing a comprehensive recovery package, in consultation with President Ouattara’s Government, using the full range of its instruments. It will resume its development assistance programmes in full as soon as possible and will examine the possibility of delivering some quick-disbursing assistance to meet immediate needs.
5. The EU remains seriously concerned at the humanitarian situation in the country and its impact on neighbouring countries, in particular Liberia. The EU will work closely with the UN and other international agencies to alleviate the suffering of those displaced by the conflict or in need of essential supplies where they live. In addition to the EUR 30 million already provided by the Commission and bilateral contributions of Member States, the EU is committed to providing further humanitarian assistance as required. It is essential to ensure a secure humanitarian space for the urgent and efficient delivery of humanitarian aid.
6. The EU deeply regrets the unnecessary loss of life and destruction of economic prosperity that has accompanied the current crisis. It is important not merely for Côte d’Ivoire but for the whole region that, with the restoration of accountable government, the country can re-establish its stability, peace and prosperity, so that shattered lives can be re-built, families be re-united and normal life be resumed. The EU will continue to work with all countries of the region to reduce poverty, stimulate growth and support accountable government and the respect of human rights.”
Council of the European Union