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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 24, 2003


Killings and Death Squads in Cote d'Ivoire

The United States condemns in the strongest terms recent murders and disappearances in Cote d’Ivoire, including the killing of Yerefe Camara, in Abidjan on February 2. Mr. Camara was a well-known actor and opposition political activist. We call for an immediate end to such extra judicial killings and disappearances and urge Ivoirian authorities to take immediate and urgent steps to investigate this and similar crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. The United States calls upon all parties in Cote d’Ivoire to strictly adhere to international norms concerning human and civil rights.

According to Mr. Camara’s family, he was taken into custody by government security forces seven hours before his body was found. This report, and the recently released report by the U.N. which indicates that associates of the government of Cote d’Ivoire may be involved in death squad activities, are taken very seriously by the United States. We reiterate our call on the Ivoirian authorities to identify the guilty parties and bring them to justice.

A culture of impunity must not be allowed to take root in Cote d'Ivoire. Such a development would be a major setback in the search for peace and national reconciliation.

Released on February 24, 2003

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