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Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Côte d’Ivoire
June 20, 2017

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America, as delivered by Timothy Savage

UN Human Rights Council – 35th Session
Geneva, June 20, 2017

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

The United States thanks Independent Expert Mohammed Ayat for his excellent sustained work on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

The United States recognizes the progress Côte d’Ivoire has made since its peaceful 2015 elections.  While noting this progress, we stress that significant challenges remain.  The government has been slow to implement security sector reform and to work towards political reconciliation following the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis.  Both the Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire and the gendarmerie are responsible for security force abuses while failing to enforce the rule of law.  We urge the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to continue security sector reform and to combat impunity.

Further, we note that Côte d’Ivoire’s civilian authorities have failed at times to maintain effective control over the security forces, as evidenced by security force mutinies over pay disputes in January, February, and May of 2017.

We are concerned by the impact that such violence has had on civilian security and support the government’s efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the dispute.  We call on protesting soldiers to cease their threatening and intimidating behavior and respect civilian authority, instead of further damaging the institution and country that the soldiers claim to want to improve.

The United States continues to stand firmly with the Ivoirian people and supports their pursuit of the continued improvement of human rights.

Mr. Ayat:

How can the international community best support the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to improve the human rights situation and address disunity and abuses within the security sector, including support for accountability efforts?