Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-04-06-Speech-3-654-000"

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"Mr President, the end of the struggle for power in Côte d’Ivoire is in sight, after more than 1 500 people have died, nearly one million people in the region have been made refugees, entire streets of houses have been looted and the economy has ground to a halt. The country is experiencing a catastrophe and that is the price which Laurent Gbagbo has had to pay for refusing to admit defeat. His relentless refusal to respect the voters’ wishes merits strong condemnation. Many other things also merit condemnation: all the violence of the last few months, the many human rights violations, the threats, the violence against United Nations personnel, the speeches stirring up hatred and the kidnappings. There are still some firefights going on, but Gbagbo’s departure is being negotiated, and that is good news. However, there is an emergency situation in Côte d’Ivoire. Many Ivorians are now running out of food and water, because they have not dared leave their homes. It is essential that President Alassane Ouattara receives every support during the process of return to the rule of law, under which people will be able to live in peace and without fear, and under which the freedom of the press will be restored. A return to the rule of law is now the first thing that needs to happen. In that regard, the President has a duty to prevent his troops using force against the population and it is good that Ouattara has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shocking massacre in Duékoué. Whatever means the Ivorians choose to restore the rule of law, through the courts or through a truth and reconciliation commission thing is clear: there is no statute of limitation on war crimes. The International Criminal Court must be allowed to do its work. The sanctions have had an impact: Gbagbo has been financially drained. However, we must now ensure that we rapidly begin to dismantle the sanctions as soon as Ouattara takes up his rightful office because has ground to a halt. Even programmes for the provision of medicines to people in Côte d’Ivoire with HIV-AIDS are now at risk. Mr President, those donating aid to Côte d’Ivoire should not leave the country in the lurch now."@en1

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