Calling on the UN to take action in Cote d'Ivoire
Ambassador Li Baodong (Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN) Ambassador Gérard Araud (Permanent Mission of France to the UN)
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN) Ambassador Mark Lyall (Permanent UK Mission to the UN)
Ambassador Susan E. Rice (Permanent US Mission to the UN)
Ambassador Ivan Barbalić (Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN) Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN)
Ambassador Nestor Osorio (Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN)
Ambassador Denis Dangue Rewaka (Permanent Mission of Gabon to the UN)
Ambassador Peter Wittig (Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN)
Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri (Permanent Mission of India to the UN)
Ambassador Nawaf Salam (Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UN)
Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu (Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN)
Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN) Ambassador Baso Sangqu (Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN)
We are writing to urge you to take action in Côte d’Ivoire (also known as the Ivory Coast). The situation continues to spiral out of control with all signs pointing to a second civil war. We understand that the UN currently has troops in the country and has issued several resolutions (S/RES/1967 and S/RES/1968) denouncing the violence. Given the gravity of the situation we call you to take further action. The current mandate of the UN troops in Côte d’Ivoire is to protect civilians; however, more than 400 people have already been killed while the troops have been in the country. In addition UN troops have been attacked and kidnapped. We urge you to empower your troops and take urgent action needed on the ground.
In the UN Security Resolution 1973 March 17 on Libya, the UN Security stated that its purpose was to protect innocent civilians. The resolution came as a result of Colonel Muamma el-Qaddafi’s systematic attacks on his own people. While we applaud this decision, we ask that you pay attention and act in Côte d’Ivoire. Since the results were announced, Gbagbo has refused to leave power. His supporters have been attacking neighborhoods in the capital and regions that are loyal to Alassane Ouattara, resulting in more than 400 deaths and 400,000 displaced to date. The Associated Press is now reporting that Gbagbo’s forces have been using war-like weapons, including mortars and rocket-propelled grenades against innocent civilians. It seems that the international community is content with condemning the violence without actually enforcing their speeches.
While the international community continues to wait, Côte d’Ivoire is under curfew; Gbagbo’s army arrests, tortures, or simply shoots protestors (more than 300 people killed according to the UN), freedom of speech is banned, the economy is collapsing, and millions of children cannot attend school. Recently, six women were shot dead and many others wounded by Gbagbo’s army for daring to protest. This bloodshed will only lead to more violence.
We absolutely cannot continue to issue threats to Gbagbo without intervening to protect the civilian population. The United Nation’s Security Council was created to protect civilians and defend them from ruthless tyrants, indiscriminate of their nationality and race. We ask that you do not let the situation continue as you have a mandate to protect each and everyone one of us. Please do not let us see a repeat of Rwanda, Darfur, or Congo.
The madness which has started in Côte d’Ivoire will not come to an end unless Gbagbo is removed from power and because, unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, Gbagbo still controls the army. Examples throughout the years have shown us that dictators never stop their killings unless forced to.
We believe that the United Nation’s Security Council should take action to prevent more massacres. It will not only benefit the people of Côte d’Ivoire but also strengthen the fact that the UN remains dedicated to protecting the world’s citizens, regardless of their nationality.
Thank you for your help.
Link to US Congress petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/actioncotedivoire/
Video from Abobo Massacre: (viewer discretion advised) http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Drs-BscTQ8hU
Ivorian newspaper Abidjan.net: http://abidjan.net/
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