FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
I am pleased that the United Nations Security Council has voted to renew and extend the peacekeeping mandate for the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI). The Council has spoken with a clear and unified voice, and has echoed Secretary General Ban’s pledge that UNOCI will fulfill its mission to promote peace and stability.
The Council’s decision today also once again sends a strong message that President Alassane Dramane Ouattara is the legitimately elected leader of Côte d’Ivoire. As President Obama stated earlier this month, the United States urges all parties to acknowledge and respect the election results and support Côte d’Ivoire in its bid to move toward a more peaceful, democratic future. The Security Council joined the international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States, in urging all stakeholders to respect the will of the people and the outcome of the election.
The situation on the ground remains tense. I am particularly concerned about reports of mass human rights abuses against civilians and peacekeepers, and efforts to prevent UNOCI from investigating these abuses. The United States is prepared to impose targeted sanctions against anyone who threatens the peace process or seeks to undermine the outcome of the election, including former President Gbagbo and his supporters.
The people of Cote d’Ivoire have the strong support of the United States. We will continue to work closely with our international partners to help Côte d’Ivoire move forward down the path to peace and democratic governance.
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