12 April 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Closely Monitoring Situation in Côte d’Ivoire, Stresses


Need to Ensure No Retaliation against Supporters of Laurent Gbagbo


The following statement was issued on 11 April by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General has been closely monitoring the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.  Laurent Gbagbo remains currently in the custody of President Alassane Ouattara’s Government, which remains responsible for Mr. Gbagbo’s physical safety.

At the request of Mr. Gbagbo and in line with its mandate, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) will provide security and protection while he is in custody.

The Secretary-General spoke by telephone with President Ouattara today.  He underlined to President Ouattara the expectation that, with Mr. Gbagbo now in the hands of the President’s forces, any further bloodshed will be avoided.  He stressed, in particular, the need to ensure that there is no retaliation against Mr. Gbagbo’s supporters.

In this regard, the Secretary-General welcomed President Ouattara’s call for the immediate establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee.  As the Secretary-General has stated on numerous occasions, those responsible for human rights abuses, regardless of their affiliation, must be held accountable.  He called on all parties to take advantage of this historic opportunity and do their utmost to foster national reconciliation; establish a national unity Government; ensure accountability for the serious human rights violations committed during the post-elections conflict; reunify the security forces; disarm the numerous irregular forces that participated in the conflict; re-establish State authority throughout the country; and complete the unfinished aspects of the peace process.

The United Nations mission will continue to provide the necessary support to the Ivorian Government in re-establishing law and order to avert the risk of a security vacuum.  The mission will continue to execute its mandate to protect civilians and stands ready to support the efforts to address the critical humanitarian situation in the country and the forthcoming domestic and international investigations into human rights violations.

The Secretary-General calls on all parties to work together to put an end to this tragic chapter, which could have been avoided had Mr. Gbagbo respected the will of the people at a far earlier stage.

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For information media • not an official record