Text: H.Res.85 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/10/2011)

1st Session
H. RES. 85

Supporting the democratic aspirations of the Ivoirian people and calling on the United States to apply intense diplomatic pressure and provide humanitarian support in response to the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

February 10, 2011

Mr. Payne (for himself, Mr. Fortenberry, Mr. Royce, Mr. Berman, Mr. Carnahan, Mr. Meeks, Ms. Bass of California, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Capuano, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Towns, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Rush, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Fattah, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Moore, Mr. Watt, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. Waters, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, and Mr. Richmond) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Supporting the democratic aspirations of the Ivoirian people and calling on the United States to apply intense diplomatic pressure and provide humanitarian support in response to the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

Whereas, on March 4, 2007, Laurent Gbagbo and key political leaders of Côte d’Ivoire signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement (OPA), a roadmap for the country’s emergence from years of political crisis, which included provisions for free and fair elections as part of the consolidation of democratic processes;

Whereas, on November 28, 2010, Alassane Ouattara was elected President of Côte d’Ivoire by a margin of 54 to 46 percent through an independent, fair, and transparent electoral process, as prescribed under the OPA;

Whereas Côte d'Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced the election results and, in accordance with the OPA, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative independently reviewed the results and certified that Alassane Ouattara won the poll;

Whereas international observers, including the Carter Center, the European Union, and the African Union, concluded that minor incidents of electoral problems in all parts of the country did not materially affect the results;

Whereas Côte d'Ivoire’s Constitutional Council, controlled by the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, overrode those results, and Mr. Gbagbo has refused to peacefully transfer power to President Ouattara;

Whereas the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the European Union, the United States, and the United Nations have all recognized Mr. Ouattara as the winner of the election;

Whereas, since the election, President Ouattara and parts of his government have been sequestered by Mr. Gbagbo’s forces at the Golf Hotel in the commercial capital Abidjan, while Mr. Gbagbo and his supporters have carried out a vicious campaign of violence and intimidation against large numbers of peaceful Ivoirian citizens and nationals of other African countries;

Whereas, to date, the United Nations has verified nearly 300 deaths resulting from post-election violence, including extrajudicial and summary executions of Ivoirians of mostly civilian supporters of President Ouattara, and there are credible reports of death squads, ethnic targeting, mass rapes, and other human rights violations;

Whereas Mr. Gbagbo has demanded the departure of United Nations peacekeeping forces, and his security forces and youth militia routinely perpetrate acts of violence and intimidation against United Nations patrols, have prevented a United Nations investigation of alleged mass grave sites, and prevented the delivery of food and basic necessities to the Golf Hotel;

Whereas Mr. Gbagbo is using the state radio and television services as partisan propaganda machines to incite anti-United Nations and western sentiments, and has routinely exercised censorship, control, and manipulation of the media;

Whereas, according to the United Nations, an estimated 33,000 Ivoirians have fled into neighboring Liberia to date to escape violence or persecution;

Whereas, to date, Mr. Gbagbo has rebuffed mediation efforts by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, and both regional bodies have suspended Côte d'Ivoire’s membership, pending President Ouattara’s effective assumption of power;

Whereas the United States, European Union, Switzerland, and other governments have imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mr. Gbagbo and many key members of his regime, and the West African Monetary Union has taken steps to ensure President Ouattara gains full control of state resources;

Whereas the World Bank and IMF have suspended their activities in Côte d’Ivoire, including a $575,000,000 post-conflict economic reconstruction program;

Whereas the political instability in Côte d’Ivoire has serious political, economic, and security implications for its citizens, and for the entire region;

Whereas with 17 upcoming elections in Africa in 2011, Mr. Gbagbo is sending a concerning message to those who may seek to undermine the democratic will of Africa’s citizens, participatory governance, and the peaceful transfer of state power on the continent; and

Whereas the United States has a strong interest in promoting democracy and peace in Côte d’Ivoire and across all of Africa: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) supports the democratic aspirations of the Ivoirian people;

(2) strongly condemns any attempt to circumvent the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire, the majority of whom voted on November 29, 2010, to elect Alassane Ouattara as their president;

(3) calls on Laurent Gbagbo to respect the will of the Ivoirian people by peacefully handing over power to President Alassane Ouattara;

(4) calls for an immediate end to acts of violence, human rights abuses, the intimidation of United Nations troops, and the hindrance of United Nations access to investigate alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law;

(5) asserts that Mr. Gbagbo and his military and paramilitary forces will be held accountable for any human rights crimes and abuses that they perpetrate against Ivoirians and nationals of other African nations residing in Côte d’Ivoire;

(6) calls on the United States Government and international community to continue to provide support for the ongoing efforts of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union to resolve the crisis, and calls for continued United Nations Security Council action to ensure that the democratic process is upheld, that international human rights and humanitarian law are upheld, and that there is accountability for violations thereof;

(7) supports the application of smart, targeted sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo and his key supporters by the United States Government and international community in order to send a clear message that impunity will not be tolerated;

(8) supports the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union’s aggressive steps to put further financial strain on Mr. Gbagbo’s regime, including any and all actions to ensure that the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) restricts Mr. Gbagbo’s government access to state funds, and to ensure that BCEAO and all of its national branches abide by the UEMOA Council of Ministers' decision recognizing Alassane Ouattara as the legitimately elected President of Côte d'Ivoire by giving him authority over UEMOA-related activities and all Ivoirian BCEAO transactions; and

(9) calls on the United States Government and other responsible nations to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian assistance within Côte d’Ivoire and to neighboring countries hosting Ivoirian refugees, as necessary and appropriate.