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Ivory Coast prelate urges end to medicine embargo

Catholic World News - March 28, 2011

As civilians flee strife-torn Ivory Coast’s capital for the countryside, the nation’s leading prelate has asked the European Union to end a month-old embargo on medicine.

“You do not need a lot of arguments to understand that life is sacred and that it must be protected,” said Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan. “The fifth commandment says 'Thou shalt not kill'. Every person has the right to health and life. Therefore, the embargo on medicine is an act that goes against that right.”

Supporters of incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo are battling supporters of Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo, a Catholic, lost the 2010 presidential election to Ouattara, a Muslim, but has refused to step down from office.

Archbishop Kutwa called upon both parties in the conflict to “stop the killings and violence.”

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