The attacks complicate reconciliation efforts in Cote d’Ivoire, where more than 3,000 people were killed in the post-election fighting.
Recent attacks in Cote d’Ivoire highlight the need to make continued progress on reconciliation in the West African nation, severely damaged by a decade of internal conflict and corruption capped by a violent four month post-election crisis that erupted when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down following his defeat for re-election in 2010.
Ivorian security forces have been the targets of raids believed to be supported by Gbagbo loyalists who fled during the crisis and remain in neighboring countries. The attacks complicate reconciliation efforts in Cote d’Ivoire, where more than 3,000 people were killed in the post-election fighting and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee their homes.
After more than a year of relative peace, new clashes began in August, when gunmen began attacking army and police installations in the commercial capital Abidjan and other towns in the southern half of the country. In one of the most recent attacks, a power station in Abidjan supplying 15 percent of the country’s electrical power was damaged, and a police barracks in the town of Bonoua was raided in an attempt to steal weapons. Several gunmen were captured and are being questioned, Ivorian authorities said.
The United States condemns the attacks and applauds the efforts by the governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia to work together to address regional security concerns. Given porous borders, the threat posed by the Gbagbo holdouts is a regional one and requires a regional solution to achieve a durable peace.
We call on all parties to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Cote d’Ivoire.