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Hillary calls for `immediate end` to I Coast violence

Last Updated: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 10:14

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has condemned Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo and
his forces for violence in the African nation and for a
"callous disregard" for life.

"The United States calls for an immediate end to the
violence," Clinton said in a statement that took aim at
Gbagbo, who is resisting calls from the world community to
hand the presidency to recognized November election winner
Alassane Ouattara.

She said the "United States strongly condemns" attacks
by Gbagbo`s forces on his own people, including one Thursday
on unarmed women demonstrators that left seven dead. His
forces denied responsibility.

"Gbagbo and his forces have shown a callous disregard
for human life and the rule of law, preying on the unarmed and
the innocent. He should step aside immediately in the name of
peace," she said.

"Gbabgo`s selfish effort to cling to power despite
losing the election has elevated tensions and eroded the
fundamental rights of Ivoirian civilians," the chief US
diplomat said.

"Since December, Gbagbo has used security forces to
attack the very people he claims to represent, and deprived
Ivorian citizens of access to water and electricity," said the
secretary.

In calling for an end to the violence, she said:
"Military leaders, regime officials, and others responsible
for directing or committing violent acts against civilians
will have to answer for their actions."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 10:14

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