Paris, April 4 , 2011
In recent weeks, M. Laurent Gbagbo’s forces have used heavy weapons against the civilian population on numerous occasions. In UNSCR 1975, passed unanimously on 30 March, the Security Council asked the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to prevent such atrocities.
In accordance with its mandate to protect civilians, UNOCI has therefore just initiated actions designed to neutralize the heavy weapons used against the civilian population and UN personnel in Abidjan.
The UN Secretary-General asked French forces to support these operations. President Sarkozy assented and authorized French forces, acting in accordance with the mandate granted to them by the Security Council, to take part in UNOCI operations to protect civilians.
France calls for an immediate halt to all violence against civilians. The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable for them before a court of law./.