May 19, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today demanded answers from Administration officials during a SFRC hearing on the current crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. During the hearing, Inhofe vocalized the need to allow former Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo and First Lady Simone Gbagbo to go into exile.
“What has been done to President Gbagbo and his family by Ouattara, France, and the United Nations is an atrocity,” said Inhofe. “I wholeheartedly disagree with the testimony of William Fitzgerald of the U.S. Department of State. The right course of action is to let the Gbagbos go into exile. Anything less will only show the continued corruption of Ouattara and his followers.
Inhofe continued, “I have a heart for Africa, and have traveled to Cote d’Ivoire 9 times. Never before have I witnessed such inhumane treatment as what has currently taken place in Cote d’Ivoire. Our focus must be to bring an end to the conflict and to protect the people of Cote d’Ivoire from both the brutality of Ouattara’s forces while providing them freedom from the undue influence of France. Allowing the Gbagbos to go into exile is a step in that direction. What has happened in Cote d’Ivoire is unacceptable.”