Statement on Cote d'Ivoire

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 18, 2011

The United States condemns Laurent Gbagbo’s continued attacks on unarmed civilians in Cote d’Ivoire and we demand an immediate end to this brutality. Gbagbo’s indiscriminate violence against civilians cannot be tolerated. All individuals responsible for ordering or carrying out these heinous acts will have to answer for their actions.

Gbagbo’s claim that he represents the Ivoirian people belies his persistent refusal to participate in the peaceful transition recommended by the African Union. Gbagbo’s incendiary rhetoric, such as his recent call for civilians to take up arms against their fellow citizens, stands in stark contrast to President Ouattara’s appeal for calm and restraint among the Ivoirian people. Now is the time for all Ivoirians to embrace the path of peace and to unite in rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire so that future generations can enjoy the stability and prosperity that all Ivoirians deserve.

The United States is providing humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the growing violence, including a $4.5 million food aid contribution to the United Nations World Food Program in Cote d’Ivoire and a $7.5 million contribution for refugees in neighboring Liberia. We will continue to assist those affected by this violence and help put an end to the crisis.

PRN: 2011/422