Statement: Kofi Annan on Situation in Ivory Coast

I am deeply concerned by the military mutinies that have beset Côte d’Ivoire in recent weeks. They are a setback not only for the country’s economic development and reputation, but also for Africa’s democratic progress.

Resorting to arms and holding the country to ransom is not an acceptable way to seek redress for soldiers’ grievances. The armed forces must act within the law and express their demands peacefully through the military hierarchy, not through the barrel of a gun or through intimidation of the civilian population.

Most importantly, such acts are out of step with Africa’s long struggle to achieve democratic and accountable government.

We, as Africans, must ensure that our countries’ destinies are determined by democratically-elected leaders reflecting the will of the people, and not by the force of arms.

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