The United States strongly condemns Laurent Gbagbo’s acts of violence perpetrated against the people of Cote d’Ivoire, including his security forces’ attack yesterday on unarmed women demonstrators that left seven dead. Gbagbo and his forces have shown a callous disregard for human life and the rule of law, preying on the unarmed and the innocent. He should step aside immediately in the name of peace.
Gbabgo’s selfish effort to cling to power despite losing the election has elevated tensions and eroded the fundamental rights of Ivoirian civilians. Since December, Gbagbo has used security forces to attack the very people he claims to represent, and deprived Ivorian citizens of access to water and electricity. Indeed, Cote d’Ivoire’s most vulnerable citizens, its women and children, are suffering the most.
The United States calls for an immediate end to the violence. Military leaders, regime officials, and others responsible for directing or committing violent acts against civilians will have to answer for their actions.