|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, Expressing Deep Concern after Deadly Clashes in Côte d’Ivoire,
Warns against ‘Unacceptable’ Attacks on United Nations Peacekeepers
The following statement was issued on 12 January by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the developments unfolding in the Abobo neighbourhood of Abidjan, where clashes between the civilian population supporting President Alassane Ouattara and Ivorian security forces who had raided the area are reported to have left six people dead. Of particular concern are the reports about plans by forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo to launch another operation in the area tonight. A curfew has been imposed and the forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo are attempting to force United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) military and police units dispatched to protect civilians to leave the area. The Secretary-General reiterates that any attacks on United Nations peacekeepers are unacceptable.
The Secretary-General warns those responsible for organizing and executing the planned operation that they will be held responsible for their actions. The Secretary-General calls on both sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid further clashes that could lead to more loss of life and destruction of property. On its part, UNOCI’s troops and police units are determined to remain in the area and will carry out their mandate in an impartial and professional manner.
The Secretary-General is also concerned by reports of violence in other areas of the country and condemns all violations of human rights. He assures all Ivorians of UNOCI’s commitment to the protection of civilians irrespective of their political affiliation. He calls on all concerned to desist from obstructing the mission from carrying out its mandated tasks.
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