Washington, D.C. - U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman applauds sanctions imposed on Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagno -- commends UN human rights body for drawing attention to abuses.

“President Gbagbo personifies the kind of dictator that has crippled many African countries over several decades. But now, as in many other countries the people have spoken. The dictator must go,” Chairman Berman said.

The United States and European Union have imposed targeted sanctions against President Gbagbo and a number of his allies and are in the process of extending the travel ban to include other sanctions. The World Bank has frozen financing for Cote d’Ivoire, closed its offices and suspended all activities of the African Development Bank. Chairman Berman added, “I strongly support the targeted sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration and other nations on President Ggagbo and those who are benefitting from his illegitimate efforts to hold onto power.”

“I commend the Security Council for quickly extending the mandate of UNOCI – the UN peacekeeping force in Cote d’Ivoire, and urge both the U.S. and others in the international community to ensure that this peacekeeping mission has the resources needed to protect civilians from physical harm and political retribution,” Chairman Berman said.

“I was also pleased to see such a strong resolution from the UN Human Rights Council condemning the acts of political violence and intimidation that have taken place since the election. This resolution, which was adopted unanimously, puts President Gbagbo on notice that this act of political thuggery will not go unchallenged by the responsible nations of the world,” added the Chairman.