Thank you, Mr. President. The United States welcomes the unanimous adoption of this strong resolution this afternoon. This Council has met on numerous occasions in an attempt to find a resolution to the ongoing crisis. We have strongly condemned the violence. We have urged former President Gbagbo to step aside so that President Ouattara, as the duly-elected President of Cote d’Ivoire, can govern. We stressed our support for UNOCI and its mandate of protecting civilians. And, we have adopted targeted sanctions against those most responsible for obstructing peace.
This resolution sends a strong signal: Mr. Gbagbo and his followers should immediately reject violence and respect the will of the Ivorian people. As violence continues, Cote d'Ivoire stands at a crossroads:
Mr. Gbagbo and his supporters can continue to cling to power, which will only lead to more innocent civilians being wounded and killed, and more diplomatic and economic isolation.
Or Mr. Gbagbo and his followers can finally reject violence and respect the will of the Ivorian people. If this path is chosen, Ivorians can reclaim their country and rebuild a vibrant economy that was once the admiration of all of Africa.
The United States urges this Council to support and work with President Ouattara in his efforts to create a peaceful and prosperous future for all Ivorians, a future based on inclusive government, reunification and reconciliation.
We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid violence against civilians. Now is the time for all Ivorians to embrace the path of peace and to unite in rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire so future generations can enjoy the stability and prosperity that all Ivorians deserve.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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