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HRC Dialogue with the Independent Expert for Cote d’Ivoire
July 1, 2015

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert for Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Mohammed Ayat
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
UN Human Rights Council – 29th Session

Thank you, Independent Expert Mohammed Ayat for your work.

The United States expresses its appreciation for the report of the Independent Expert (IE).  We applaud Cote d’Ivoire’s willingness to come to the international community and ask for help.  We also express our continued concern about ongoing human rights challenges, especially in light of upcoming elections.  We echo the IE’s concern that the move toward national reconciliation continue.  We agree that this can only be accomplished through ongoing and inclusive political dialogue and through holding perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses on all sides responsible.  The United States asks the IE to assist the government of Cote d’Ivoire in promoting national reconciliation and a peaceful presidential election later this year.

We are encouraged by the ongoing progress of the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) process.  At the same time, we reiterate our serious concern about the number of unregistered combatants and unaccounted for arms in Cote d’Ivoire.  The United States appreciates the IE’s ongoing monitoring of Cote d’Ivoire’s progress toward addressing impunity and improving security.  These elements are the foundation for peaceful, free, and fair elections this fall.

We applaud the IE’s continued monitoring of the political process, especially in relation to electoral reform, political inclusivity, and voter participation.  We also share the IE’s concerns regarding the importance of freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression for all individuals during the electoral period.  We support efforts to encourage the government to respect these human rights.

1.    What do you see as the primary human rights challenges facing Cote d’Ivoire as it holds the first presidential elections since the crisis?

2.    The United States has consistently pressed for fair, equal and balanced justice to include addressing any crimes committed by both sides of the 2010-2011 post-election crisis.  We are concerned that arrests and prosecutions appear one-sided.  You have made calls for judicial neutrality.  What would be the next steps in establishing accountability for those who may have violated or abused human rights during the conflict?  Would arrests or prosecution have an impact on the human rights situation in the context of the upcoming election?

Thank you.