Friday, April 1, 2011

U.S. Gbagbo urges end to violence

New York .- The Secretary of State for African Affairs United States, Johnnie Carson, asked the parties to the Ivorian conflict to show restraint and to protect civilians or liable for the atrocities they commit. Carson sentenced Thursday in a news briefing in the civil war that has engulfed Côte d'Ivoire, which has already killed 400 people, destroyed the economy and is causing a serious humanitarian crisis.

"The United States calls on all parties to show restraint and to make protection of civilians its highest priority. The people of Ivory Coast has already paid a heavy price for democracy," the secretary asked. "All those who choose not to follow this recommendation will be responsible for the atrocities and human rights violations they commit," said Carson.

"United Nations and the international community will investigate allegations of human rights violations. Those directly involved in these heinous acts will answer for their actions," he said. In recent days, the forces of President-elect, Alassane Ouattara, have managed to take control of large areas of the country as the country's second port, San Pedro, and parts of the economic capital, Abidjan.

The political crisis began after the presidential elections in late November after the interim president, Laurent Gbagbo, decided to keep his post after losing the vote. The international community has called on Gbagbo to cede power after the UN to certify the victory of Ouattara. Carson recalled that currently are deployed in the country about 11,000 of the peacekeepers of the UN, helped by French army units, so that rules out direct intervention by the United States.

The secretary said his country feared a massive influx of Ivorian refugees to countries of the region, like Liberia or Sierra Leone, which can cause instability in the region. Carson said that armed conflict might end soon because the army general staff, Philippe Mangou, had sought asylum in the South African Embassy, but could not say whether it would be a matter of "hours, days or weeks." In addition, the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs condemned the attacks of the Young Patriots loyal to Gbagbo, who have carried out assassinations and the blockade of some roads, and asked them to lay down their arms and participate in rebuilding the country.

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