Liz Lathrop 202-224-1282
August 12, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned rebel leader Alasane Ouattara and his regime for continuing to sanction or allow extrajudicial killings in Cote d’Ivoire, as well as exclusively prosecuting former supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo, including a priest.
“These are more examples of rebel leader Ouattara’s brutal regime that is now taking revenge on supporters of President Gbagbo,” said Inhofe. “Instead of Ouattara’s professed promise to seek reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire, he is systematically eliminating any perceived opposition – including priests.
“I again call upon our State Department to take actions to stop the killings and arrests in Cote d’Ivoire. They have the means to do so, starting with persuading Ouattara to release these individuals. Our State Department can also encourage Ouattara to allow the clandestinely imprisoned President Gbagbo and his wife Simone to go into exile. This would send a signal that true reconciliation can beginand that the killings in the streets must end.”
Radio France International, citing the United Nations, reports that there have been 26 extrajudicial killings in Côte d’Ivoire over the past four weeks, most committed by supporters of Ouattara. The report goes on to point out that the 26 killed, including a 17-month-old child, were shot dead in the western village of Duékoué and central-western Daloa areas, populated by supporters of Gbagbo.
Additionally, Reuters reports that Pascal Affi N’Guessan, former head of President Gbagbo’s party, and 11 others have been charged by Noel Dje, Ouattara’s StateProsecutor, with violating state security for backing President’s Gbagbo’s refusal to concede last year’s fraud-tainted presidential election. They are now in jail joining 15 other Gbagbo supporters arrested by Ouattara in June, that include former Prime Minister Gilbert Ake, Finance Minister Desire Dallo and Foreign Affairs Minister Alcide Djedje.
Reuters also reports that an arrest warrant has been issued for an evangelical pastor who publically expressed support for Gbagbo.
According to reports, “critics complain that not one of Ouattara’s men has been detained, despite evidence that they too committed abuses.”