EU Statement on Côte d’Ivoire

State­ment by EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton on Côte d’Ivoire
Cather­ine Ash­ton, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion, made the fol­low­ing state­ment today:
“Today, the forces of Lau­rent Gbag­bo opened fire on a peace­ful demon­stra­tion in Abid­jan, killing sev­en unarmed women who were mak­ing use of their right to express their sup­port of the legit­i­mate Pres­i­dent, Alas­sane Ouat­tara. We firm­ly con­demn those killings in the strongest pos­si­ble terms, express our deep­est sym­pa­thy for the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies, and urge Lau­rent Gbag­bo to refrain from any fur­ther vio­lence, and to hand over pow­er rapid­ly to the elect­ed Pres­i­dent. The Ivo­rian peo­ple have demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly cho­sen their gov­ern­ment and it should not be imped­ed from assum­ing office. We urge all involved in acts of vio­lence or inci­ta­tion to hatred to stop imme­di­ate­ly such unac­cept­able actions.

We also con­demn the dete­ri­o­rat­ing rule of law, char­ac­ter­ized by ille­gal nation­al­iza­tions of banks and arbi­trary expro­pri­a­tions of mon­ey and prop­er­ty car­ried out by Lau­rent Gbagbo.

The EU remains firm­ly com­mit­ted to sup­port the African-led efforts to ensure respect for the elec­tion results. We have repeat­ed­ly called on Mr Gbag­bo to stand down swift­ly and peace­ful­ly and accept the will of the Ivo­rian peo­ple who have elect­ed Alas­sane Ouat­tara as Pres­i­dent. EU sanc­tions, adopt­ed in sup­port of African actions, will remain in place until ex-Pres­i­dent Gbag­bo accepts the results of the elec­tions and hands over pow­er to the legit­i­mate pres­i­dent. The EU stress­es the impor­tance of main­tain­ing the uni­ty of the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mu­ni­ty and the Unit­ed Nations in sup­port­ing Democ­ra­cy in Ivory Coast. 

Lau­rent Gbag­bo and those who sup­port him must remem­ber that they will be held account­able for the con­se­quences of their actions and for any vio­la­tions of human rights for which they are respon­si­ble, includ­ing at the appro­pri­ate nation­al or inter­na­tion­al jus­tice sys­tems. I, there­fore, urge the Unit­ed Nations Human Rights Coun­cil to inten­si­fy the mon­i­tor­ing of human rights in order for the per­pe­tra­tors to be brought to jus­tice and the UNOCI to imple­ment ful­ly its man­date to pro­tect civil­ian populations.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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