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Reports to the Security Council on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire

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Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire.
©UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The President Mr. Osorio (Colombia) (spoke in Spanish): Under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representative of Côte d’Ivoire to participate in this meeting.

Under rule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite Mr. Choi Young-Jin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, to participate in this meeting.

On behalf of the Council, I wish to welcome Mr. Choi, who is joining today’s meeting via video teleconference from Abidjan. I thank Mr. Choi for his participation and would ask him to remain with the Council throughout today’s meeting, as I know that many Council members wish to speak with him.

Under rule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Ms. Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to participate in this meeting.

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

I wish to draw the attention of Council members to document S/2011/211, which contains the twenty-seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire.

I now give the floor to Mr. Choi Young-Jin.

Mr. Choi: One of the world’s most open, free, fair and transparent elections, which took place in Côte d’Ivoire on 28 November 2010, has been forfeit to the greed of the outgoing President, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo. Thus, an utterly unnecessary post-electoral crisis erupted and lasted more than four months. Now, with the taking into custody of Mr. Gbagbo, on 11 April, by pro-Ouattara forces, we have witnessed the end of a chapter in the history of Côte d’Ivoire.

Unlike some crises that have required massive international military intervention, the Ivorian crisis has been dealt with largely by Ivorians themselves. The Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the Security Council have been providing the necessary framework within which the Ivorian people themselves have faced their own destiny. From that perspective, one may say that Côte d’Ivoire represents a success story of a people managing their own affairs with international support. Yet, the major credit for bringing the post-electoral crisis to an end must go to the Ivorian people. They succeeded in making the will of the people, as expressed during the presidential elections, prevail largely by their own efforts. The date of 11 April must therefore be remembered as the end of a demagogic and Orwellian perversion by a regime that tried to cling to power by military means, bringing about serious pain and damage to Côte d’Ivoire.

Before I proceed, let me pay tribute to the French Licorne Force for its most helpful cooperation, including its crucial protection of the headquarters of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) at various moments during the crisis, as well as for its timely restoration of the functioning of the water distribution system in Abidjan, which relieved the besieged UNOCI headquarters from 10 days of water deprivation.

Let me now focus on the challenges that lie ahead in Côte d’Ivoire. I would count four major challenges as needing urgent attention from President Ouattara’s Administration, with the assistance of the international community. They are related to the protection of the civilian population and national reconstruction.

The first challenge is the restoration of peace and law and order throughout the country, particularly in Abidjan. The second is the prevention of any further human rights abuses and violations, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially in the western part of the country, where several serious problems have already been reported. The third challenge is national reconciliation. On that score, President Ouattara has taken a very clear stance in favour of reconciliation over retribution. The fourth, and perhaps most formidable, challenge awaiting the Ivorian people appears to be national reconstruction, particularly with regard to the promotion of education, the creation of youth employment, addressing the land ownership problem, poverty eradication and economic development.

Among other concrete measures, there are four that must be taken urgently. The first is the swearing-in of President Ouattara and the completion of the organization of his Government. During the crisis, President Ouattara could nominate only 13 of some 30 ministers. Many important Government posts also need to be filled urgently.

The second, or perhaps concomitant, urgent task would be the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and the security sector reform programmes.

The third measure, which is intimately connected to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and the security sector reform programmes, is the reunification question, including the extension of State authority to the northern part of the country and the centralization of the Treasury.

The fourth measure pertains to the organization of legislative elections which, in a certain sense, would mark the real end of the post-electoral crisis by creating a democratic Parliament that would be active across the country.

With regard to those tasks, UNOCI will do its utmost to provide its support and assistance to the Ivorian people and authorities. In the meantime, UNOCI is currently focusing on helping the efforts to re-establish a secure environment and prevent a security vacuum; collecting weapons and disarming surrendering former pro-Gbagbo forces; securing vital lifelines and strategic installations, such as the airport, the seaport, bridges, and the presidential palace and residence; protecting civilians, including Mr. Gbagbo’s entourage, against reprisals; continuing documentation of committed human rights violations; and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Yet, in the end, it must be the Ivorian people who shall forge their destiny. I remain hopeful. The Ivorian people organized a most impressive election; they succeeded largely by themselves in resolving the post-electoral crisis, which allowed for the will of the people to prevail; and now they will march forward towards national reconciliation and reconstruction, with the assistance of the international community.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Mr. Choi for his briefing.

I now give the floor to Ms. Amos.

Ms. Amos: I appreciate this opportunity to brief the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire, including findings from my mission last week to Man and Duékoué in Côte d’Ivoire, and Monrovia and Grand Gedeh county in Liberia.

Despite the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, the humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains deeply troubling. The crisis that followed elections in November and the escalation we have seen in the past weeks have had far-reaching humanitarian consequences for ordinary people throughout Côte d’Ivoire and its neighbouring countries. These effects will not subside without a significant and sustained effort from the humanitarian community, and the combined efforts of the broader United Nations system in Côte d’Ivoire contributing to stabilization and reconciliation.

In Duékoué, at least 255 people were killed in a massacre between 28 and 29 March, during which grave violations of international law took place. People told me harrowing stories about the executions and kidnappings that occurred. More than 27,000 people have been forced to find refuge at the Catholic mission in Duékoué, and there are another 1,000 displaced people at another site in the city. Some of them had walked 200 kilometres or more through the bush to reach relative safety. The camp exists because of the heroism of the pastor at the mission. It is being protected by United Nations peacekeepers, whose commitment to the mission of the United Nations is commendable. Their focus on the protection of civilians has saved many lives.

The Council will hear from the High Commissioner for Human Rights that mass killings have taken place in several other towns and villages in the west of the country. These are in addition to the widespread and indiscriminate attacks against civilians that have occurred in Abidjan since violence flared up last December, including extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. Sexual violence has been perpetrated particularly against women and children. Human rights investigations are ongoing, and the commission of inquiry requested by the Human Rights Council will deploy soon. It is vital that those responsible be held accountable for the crimes they have committed. There can be no culture of impunity.

In Abidjan, many of the city’s 5 million people are in crisis. Although open conflict has ceased, there continue to be reports of sporadic violence. Many families in the city are without food and are trapped in their homes, too afraid of the militias and the fighting to leave. Some have been forced by the violence to flee. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has already registered more than 130,000 displaced people in Abidjan. Entire neighbourhoods have been without electricity and water for weeks, raising concerns that cholera, which is already present in Côte d’Ivoire, could spread further.

Food is difficult to find in the markets and shops, and prices have risen sharply. The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that malnutrition levels in Abidjan and around the country are rising. Many hospitals and health facilities have been unable to operate properly. Those that have stayed open do not have enough doctors, medicines or other basic equipment to meet the needs. Schools have been closed for months, leaving more than 800,000 children without access to education.

Outside Abidjan, communities in the centre and north, including Bouaké, have had to deal with the influx of the at least 800,000 people whom UNHCR estimates have been internally displaced. Many have been taken in by host families; others have gathered in spontaneous settlements. Heavy fighting in other cities has also had serious humanitarian consequences. In Daloa and Duékoué in the west, the south-western port city of San-Pédro, Abengourou and Bondoukou in the east, Tiébissou and the capital Yamoussoukro, medical centres have treated many people suffering from gunshot and machete wounds. In all these places, distributions of food, water, sanitation materials and other relief items are still urgently needed.

And we must also not overlook the grave psychological impact that these weeks of violence have had. People are immensely traumatized. They have witnessed terrible violence, and many have been directly targeted.

The humanitarian response to the crisis has so far been severely impeded by the security situation around the country, which has prevented aid agencies from scaling up their operations and accessing those most in need. Some international United Nations staff stayed in Abidjan throughout the crisis; most relocated to Man and Bouaké in recent days. Even for those who stayed, their movements were severely impeded by the lack of security. Immediately after the arrest of Mr. Gbagbo, UNICEF was able to make a delivery of medical supplies in Abidjan. It distributed essential medicines, blankets, tents and nutritional supplements to a health centre and a hospital in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Treichville.

As soon as the security situation permits, it is essential that more aid workers get into all areas of Abidjan and that humanitarian organizations strengthen their presence where they are most needed. A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team has just arrived in Côte d’Ivoire to strengthen humanitarian assessment, operations and coordination for the ongoing relief effort.

Outside Abidjan, WFP is planning more airlifts in the coming days to provide food assistance to tens of thousands of internally displaced people. WFP, which manages the humanitarian air service on behalf of the whole aid community, plans to launch humanitarian flights to northern towns such as Bouaké and Man, where relief agencies have relocated their operations. The World Health Organization has shipped additional supplies of kits to treat trauma injuries, malaria and infectious diseases, to support the people who fled Abidjan. The Food and Agriculture Organization is helping people to restart their livelihoods with seeds and tools. Numerous other United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also active on the ground.

The humanitarian community launched two emergency action plans in January to raise funds for the humanitarian response in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. Both appeals have been revised to reflect the greatly increased needs on the ground. Overall, we estimate that about $300 million is needed to cover priority humanitarian needs. As of today, $57 million has been committed, which is only 15 per cent of what is needed. We need to act now to deliver more food, provide shelter and offer better medical treatment to those who are sick. We must not let down the people of Côte d’Ivoire and the region. I hope that Member States will redouble their efforts and respond to the needs in Côte d’Ivoire and the region.

Côte d’Ivoire’s neighbours — Liberia, Guinea, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso — have between them taken in more than 140,000 people since the crisis began. More than 130,000 refugees are in Liberia. I visited a refugee transit centre in Toe Town, in Grand Gedeh county, which is situated along the Liberia-Côte d’Ivoire border. Most of the refugees are women and children. They fled their homes with almost nothing. The Government of Liberia and the Liberian people need to be recognized for the welcome and support they have given refugees. The majority of refugees are staying in host communities, which also deserve assistance. People are sharing their homes and their limited supplies. Most of the people I spoke with needed more food and non-food items, shelter, water and sanitation and agricultural inputs. The ongoing crisis forced many Ivorians to cross into the more impoverished southern counties of Grand Gedeh and Maryland. Access challenges related to the upcoming rainy season are some of the factors worsening the current humanitarian situation in Liberia.

While we can still count on Liberia to welcome Ivorian refugees, the Government is obviously concerned about the security and other economic and social impacts of the Ivorian refugee crisis on Liberia. Liberian authorities, United Nations agencies and our partner NGOs are doing their utmost to ensure that the response is adequate. But we still have a long way to go.

It was clear to me from my discussions in Côte d’Ivoire that there are still many political challenges ahead. Those challenges and the current social tensions, which also impact on civilians, are likely to continue for some time. In this highly militarized context, I am concerned about the security vacuum in certain parts of the country. It is important that UNOCI continues to robustly pursue the implementation of its protection-of-civilians mandate, including by deploying into areas where civilians continue to be at risk, and take appropriate action to deter threats.

It is crucial that we remind President Ouattara that his Government and he as President must take seriously their responsibilities to abide by international law and to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of all civilians. All armed groups also continue to bear responsibilities in that regard. Equally important is the need to avoid retaliation, end impunity and focus on reconciliation and social cohesion.

I have recently discussed with humanitarian agencies and our partners the urgency of scaling-up our activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia to immediately respond to the needs of all affected people. We need to continue to make every effort to ensure that assistance is coordinated and provided in as coherent a way as possible. The people of Cote d’Ivoire deserve our support.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Ms. Amos for her briefing.

I now give the floor to Ms. Navanethem Pillay.

Ms. Pillay: I am very grateful for this opportunity to address the Security Council on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

Let me begin by saying that I welcome the growing recognition that human rights concerns are central to the issues of peace and security. In Côte d’Ivoire there is a history of human rights violations without any accountability or redress, including discrimination, particularly against people in the north. Côte d’Ivoire was plagued by years of violence, which was further fuelled by disregard for the people’s right to choose their own leadership.

The recent arrest of former President Laurent Gbagbo offers the prospect of an end to the conflict. Nonetheless, the serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that have occurred must be addressed, or they may yet serve as cause for further future destabilization in an already fragile situation. Immediate and decisive action is now called for, not only to respond to the dire humanitarian needs that my colleague has referred to but also to build public confidence in the rule of law and ensure that justice is done.

Reconciliation will not be accomplished without meaningful accountability, which has been lacking in Côte d’Ivoire over the past decade. In 2004, an international commission of inquiry established by the Secretary-General identified alleged perpetrators and recommended accountability mechanisms, which were never implemented. To achieve peace and reconciliation, the cycle of impunity must be stopped, perpetrators must be brought to justice and victims must be rehabilitated in their rights and dignity.

As part of the United Nations coordinated response, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights conducted a mission to Côte d’Ivoire from 2 to 9 April, which was led by my Assistant Secretary-General Ivan Šimonović. The purpose of the mission was to assess the human rights situation in the country and to remind all parties of their obligation to respect international human rights and humanitarian law and of the importance of bringing perpetrators to justice as a prerequisite to sustainable peace.

The mission visited Abidjan and the west of the country. Its members met with President Ouattara, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights and the Minister of Health. They also held meetings with victims and witnesses, as well as with the United Nations country team and humanitarian actors. The mission found evidence of large-scale human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence in Abidjan and the rest of the country in the course of the conflict.

The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) Human Rights Division estimates that at least 400 people were killed in Abidjan between the first round of presidential elections and the entry of the Forces républicaines into the city. The dangerous security situation held the inhabitants of Abidjan hostage, leaving them short of food, water and medicines. Many others were directly targeted by uncontrolled armed elements, including through the use of heavy weapons. Extended looting and pillaging of shops and private homes by militia groups, and in some cases by the Forces républicaines, contributed to the climate of insecurity and fear.

The human rights call centre established by the Human Rights Division continues to receive distress calls from victims. Since its inception, the centre has registered more than 12,000 calls, 75 per cent of which pertained to alleged human rights violations. In a very restricted security environment, the human rights call centre has proved to be an essential tool for the collection of information for the Mission and has provided a much needed link with the civilian population trapped in Abidjan.

Towns in the west of the country, such as Duékoué, have reportedly been the scene of large-scale killings from the second half of March, leading to a total displacement of at least 28,000 people from Duékoué alone. Preliminary investigations carried out by the Human Rights Division suggest that at least 500 people have been killed, including 255 people in Duékoué, more than 100 in Guiglo, 79 in Bloléquin and possibly 100 in Bangolo. In the Carrefour neighbourhood of Duékoué, which was known to be a former stronghold of pro-Gbagbo militia from the Guéré community, 229 bodies were found, mostly of young men dressed in civilian clothes.

While additional investigation is needed to determine the exact circumstances of the killings and the identity of perpetrators and victims, the area was known to be hosting a heavy presence of pro-Gbagbo militiamen and had witnessed ethnic and inter communal tensions over the exploitation of land resources. During March, the area was under the control of pro-Gbagbo forces, and later pro-Ouattara forces as the Forces républicaines advanced further south towards Abidjan. Killings and acts of retaliation were reported on both sides, sometimes with the involvement of the local population.

As President Ouattara is now effectively taking power in Côte d’Ivoire, it is of the utmost importance that, in the transition, all necessary measures be taken to prevent a security vacuum or acts of retaliation. Law and order should be restored as soon as possible in Abidjan, including through the collection of weapons, which are all too readily available in the city.

President Ouattara’s pledge, on 7 April, to establish a truth and reconciliation commission and to punish those who committed crimes or acts of vengeance is a positive and welcome step. Of course, transitional justice processes must be comprehensive and interconnected and include meaningful accountability, such as prosecutions and vetting. These commitments must be implemented. My Office stands ready to assist President Ouattara and his Government in the development of a transitional justice strategy for the country. Perpetrators must be held accountable for crimes committed regardless of their affiliation, and all should be treated with dignity and respect for human rights, including the right to a fair trial.

I am particularly concerned about the climate of entrenched division and distrust among the communities after years of discrimination and violence, which has been further exacerbated through the propagation of inflammatory messages and the wave of retaliation killings reportedly committed by both sides. Rebuilding social cohesion and fostering reconciliation between communities will need to be one of the main priorities of the Government and will require the support of the international community.

In response to the human rights crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, the Human Rights Council established an independent commission of inquiry. The commission has been mandated to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in the aftermath of the 28 November 2010 elections. Yesterday, the President of the Human Rights Council announced the appointment of three high-level experts as members of the commission of inquiry. They are Mr. Vitit Muntabhorn of Thailand, who will serve as Chair of the commission, Mr. Suliman Baldo of the Sudan and Mrs. Reine Alapini-Gansou of Benin. The independent commission of inquiry was asked to report back to the Human Rights Council at its next session, in June. We hope that the commission of inquiry will receive full cooperation.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Choi for his leadership and to commend the work of the UNOCI Human Rights Division under difficult security conditions.

Let me conclude by suggesting that Côte d’Ivoire is another striking example of the inextricable link between peace, justice and human rights. Rights, justice and accountability will bolster the prospects for sustainable peace, an outcome to which the people of Côte d’Ivoire are entitled. They deserve our full support.

The President (spoke in Spanish): I thank Ms. Pillay for her informative briefing.

I now give the floor to the Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Bamba (Côte d’Ivoire) (spoke in French): Beginning four months ago, the Ivorian post-electoral crisis, provoked by the refusal of the former President, Mr. Gbagbo, to accept the verdict of the ballot box, reached a critical point when he was arrested by the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) on Monday, 11 April. This event is a turning point in the resolution of the Ivorian post-electoral crisis inasmuch as the legitimately elected President of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, has now assumed the full range of powers, in line with resolution 1962 (2010).

All of the generals, in particular General Mangou, Chief of Staff of the armed forces, General Kassaraté, Commander of the gendarmerie, General Detoh Letoh, Commander of the ground forces, and General Brindou, Director-General of the national police, have sworn allegiance to President Alassane Ouattara. In addition, civilian populations in Côte d’Ivoire have been effectively protected from massacres carried out with heavy weaponry after such weapons were destroyed by the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Operation Licorne pursuant to resolution 1975 (2011).

At this stage, my delegation would like to express, on behalf of President Ouattara, the Government and the people of Côte d’Ivoire, our deepest gratitude to the Security Council for the responsible approach that the Council adopted in responding to the distress calls by civilian populations living in Côte d’Ivoire and for coming to their aid. My delegation would also like to pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership and decisive commitment, which allowed us to save countless lives caught up in the killing spree initiated by the former President of Côte d’Ivoire. We also thank the Under-Secretaries-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support and their respective colleagues, without forgetting the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire, his team and all of UNOCI’s staff on the ground.

Several very significant challenges await President Alassane Ouattara and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, and they are all urgent. First of all, the President has given the necessary instructions to the various force commanders to immediately take appropriate measures to restore public order and security. Therefore, starting today, all of the security corridors will once again be operational, and patrols will be reactivated and will include elements from the FRCI, UNOCI and impartial forces. Six police sectors, including the anti-riot squad and the Companies républicaines de securité 1 and 2, are already operational while awaiting the gradual reopening of police stations. The gendarmerie brigades will also gradually be reopened. We note that the Sassandra Brigade, in the south-west of the country, is already reactivated.

A general appeal has been launched to the entire population for individuals who are not in the regular forces of the FRCI, and who still have arms, to deliver them to police stations or any law enforcement venue.

All generals and commanders of the various units have officially proclaimed the end of hostilities. They have called for coordination and synergy among the various components of the army, which will need to be strengthened rather quickly to allow the forces of law and order to more effectively protect people and property, guarantee free movement and pacify lawless zones.

With respect to the humanitarian situation, the re establishment of water and electricity delivery is now allowing for the satisfactory operation of health centres, which will continue to be strengthened. The reopening of the ports of Abidjan and San-Pédro, as well as the Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, has allowed the large-scale delivery of required humanitarian assistance, especially medicine.

As part of the presidential emergency programme, public health activities, particularly the removal of bodies abandoned out of doors, have begun. Household garbage removal and the cleaning of roads are to take place without delay. The health alert is high with respect to the risk of cholera and meningitis epidemics, but these are being closely monitored. Displaced persons are also beginning to return home.

With respect to the human rights situation, the protection of civilian populations was at the heart of the post-electoral crisis. It was to protect civilian populations that resolution 1975 (2011) was implemented to destroy Mr. Gbagbo’s heavy weapons. It was also to protect civilian populations that the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire launched the offensive that led to the arrest of Mr. Gbagbo.

Indeed, civilians living in Côte d’Ivoire were killed throughout the country by mercenary militias and forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo seeking to maintain his reign by terror. The situation was of grave concern in western Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in Duékoué, Guiglo, Bloléquin and Bangolo, due to the presence of numerous mercenaries from Liberia recruited by pro-Gbagbo political leaders in the region, who perpetrated large-scale killings against non-native populations. These mercenaries were criminally associated with local militias armed by local politicians of Mr. Gbagbo’s party, who fomented recurrent land problems in those areas in order to ignite hatred and inter-ethnic conflict.

The Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire successfully fought the mercenaries and militias and saved many lives. Their actions allowed for the return into those areas of UNOCI and humanitarian associations, which had abandoned them because of excessive insecurity. Grave allegations of human rights violations have been made in these regions of western Côte d’Ivoire, with the alleged involvement of the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire. My delegation expresses its deep concern about these allegations and hopes that light will be shed upon these events through investigations, inquiries and the appropriate judicial procedures, including international procedures. No crime should go unpunished.

The President of the Republic, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, is the President of all Ivorians. He respects the lives and well-being of all people living in Côte d’Ivoire. Respect for human rights and the rule of law are at the heart of his Government’s agenda. He has therefore instructed the Public Prosecutor of Daloa to launch judicial investigations to establish the facts and bring the perpetrators to justice.

My delegation welcomes the recent visit to Côte d’Ivoire of the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Mr. Šimonović, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Valerie Amos. We hope that their reports will help to shed light on human rights violations in Duékoué.

The statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, was very important and fully in line with our expectations. Similarly, my delegation welcomes the nomination of three commissioners to the international commission of inquiry established on 25 March by the United Nations Human Rights Council

“to investigate the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in Côte d’Ivoire following the 28 November polls in order to identify those responsible for those acts and bring them to justice” (S/2011/211, para. 59).

During his various broadcast statements and telephone conversations with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and with his counterpart Heads of State, President Ouattara has always and unambiguously reaffirmed his will to an end all violence and to open transparent investigations leading to fair trials and assigning responsibility to all the perpetrators of violence, whatever their camp. President Ouattara calls for the immediate establishment of a truth, justice and reconciliation commission in order to mend the fabric of Ivorian human relations, which has been considerably damaged by 10 years of painful conflict, and to thereby restore social cohesion in the context of a process of collective soul-searching and internal healing in truth, justice and forgiveness.

That is the price we must pay for the challenge and success of national reconstruction. The President of the Republic, as he promised during the electoral campaign — a promise that has assumed its full meaning at these critical times in our country — will very soon put together a broad-based and inclusive Government that will draw on the competencies of all political forces of the country in such a way that all the sons and daughters of Côte d’Ivoire will own the vast reconstruction process in the post-crisis phase, allowing our country to enter an era of peace, stability and prosperity. To that end, we will continue to rely on the invaluable assistance of the United Nations, not only in the immediate task of restoring law and order, security and humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced persons, but above all with respect to longer-term challenges, which will require the conversion of UNOCI from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.

From this standpoint, my delegation welcomes the good news that public assistance is to be restored to Côte d’Ivoire. We express our thanks to France, which has allocated €400 million on an emergency basis; to the European Union, which has allocated €180 million; and to the World Bank, whose President, Mr. Zoellick, has said that his institution will resume activities in Côte d’Ivoire. My delegation therefore calls on all our traditional partners and invites new and potential partners to mobilize to give substance to the hope of what the emergence of democracy in our country could represent and achieve for the rapid development of our continent. Yes, support for ensuring that the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire is respected will help to strengthen democracy on the African continent and the well-being of our peoples, and especially a well-trained younger generation, which, even more than our natural resources, remains the true wealth of our continent.

The President (spoke in Spanish): There are no further speakers on my list. I invite Council members to informal consultations to continue our discussion on the subject.

The meeting rose at 11 a.m.

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