COTE D'IVOIRE; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 120
(Senate - August 02, 2011)

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[Pages S5236-S5237]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                             COTE D'IVOIRE

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I spoke about the situation in Cote 
d'Ivoire just last Friday and pointed out that the person responsible 
for the chaos and killing--a rebel named Alassane Ouattara--met last 
Friday with President Obama in our Nation's White House. I said then 
and say now again that this was an unwise and grossly misguided 
decision by Obama. It is in fact an outrage that our President would 
welcome, with open arms, a potential war criminal who is responsible 
for the death of at least 3,000 people and displacement of half a 
million refugees in the African country of Cote d'Ivoire. Ouattara is 
an illegitimate usurper who has scandalized Cote d'Ivoire's electoral 
system, and unlawfully ousted the democratically elected incumbent 
President Laurent Gbagbo.
  Now the Associated Press reports just yesterday that the violence in 
Cote d'Ivoire remains uncontrolled. The title of the AP story says is 
all. It reads: ``Warlords in Ivory Coast continue to reign, national 
reconciliation difficult 3 months later.''
  The AP story highlights the just released Amnesty International 
report that I spoke about last week that pointed out that ``Ouattara's 
rebel Army continues to carry out violence and intimidation against 
ethnicities perceived as having supported President Gbagbo, and that 
almost 700,000 people remain in refugee camps for displaced people in 
the country's remote far west.''
  The AP highlights the fact that although Ouattara is telling the 
world that he is seeking reconciliation; in fact Ouattara is allowing 
``a pervading culture of criminality to continue.''
  For example, in the financial capital of Abidjan, warlords have taken 
over parts of the city and death squads roam the streets looking for 
Gbagbo supporters. In addition, they are committing ``armed robberies, 
kidnapping and killings almost daily'' without any sign of ceasing. At 
the very least rebel leader Ouattara has no control over his rebel 
troops, which in the recent past committed atrocities and massacres on 
their march to Abidjan, and at the worst he is tacitly approving their 
actions by not intervening.
  AP also reports that ``even the French Embassy sent a security 
message to its citizens warning that `incidents of unequal gravity are 
still being reported.' '' And this is 3 months after the French 
themselves militarily overthrew President Gbagbo and installed 
Ouattara! The French are indeed now reaping what they have sown.
  I point out again that Amnesty International alleges that these 
forces under Ouattara's command are continuing to engage in 
``documented crimes under international law and human rights violations 
and abuses, including extrajudicial executions and other unlawful 
killings, rape and other sexual violence, torture, other ill-treatment 
and arbitrary arrest and detention; as well as the consequences of high 
levels of displacement, pervasive insecurity, and intentional 
destruction of homes and other buildings not justified by military 
necessity.''
  The AP story summarizes the current situation by quoting the 
conclusion of the Amnesty International report which states that ``if 
[this situation is] not addressed quickly, the very serious 
consequences of the recent wave of insecurity and displacement will 
have further repercussions during the coming years and may fuel growing 
discontent and unrest, undermining efforts to promote reconciliation in 
a country torn apart by a decade of ethnic strife and violent 
conflict.''
  This is my ninth time speaking on the Senate floor about the ongoing 
bloodbath of unspeakable acts of violence that are occurring in the 
once beautiful and prosperous country of Cote d'Ivoire. I again call 
for the intervention of the African Union--and not the French--to bring 
an end to the violence there, and call for new elections that will this 
time prevent the electoral fraud by Ouattara that allowed him to claim 
victory. I also call for the release of President Gbagbo and his wife 
Simone who are being held incommunicado by Ouattara, and either allow 
President Gbagbo to seek reelection for President or be allowed to go 
into exile. I have been in communication with a sub-Saharan African 
country which has agreed to grant asylum to the Gbagbos, and I call 
upon our State Department to facilitate such a move as it did for 
former Haitian President Duvalier in 1986.
  The killing must stop. My recommendations are a path to stop the 
killing.

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