Accessibility links

France to Provide $580 Million to Ivory Coast

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (file photo)

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (file photo)

France says it will soon provide Ivory Coast with $580 million to help its citizens, restart public services and stimulate the economy.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Tuesday the money will be available "in coming days" once financial circuits and security are restored.

Lagarde said the money will fund emergency expenses for civilians, the city of Abidjan and essential public services. She said it will also be used to restart the economy and help Ivory Coast make overdue payments to international institutions.

Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Ivory Coast to take advantage of a "historic opportunity" for national reconciliation following the arrest of former leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Ban said he spoke Monday with President Alassane Ouattara, and stressed the need to ensure there is no retaliation against Gbagbo's supporters.

The U.N. says it will continue to protect civilians and help support the government in re-establishing law.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has named three experts to investigate alleged abuses that occurred after the country's disputed November presidential election. The council said Tuesday the panel will include Vitit Muntabhorn of Thailand, Suliman Baldo of Sudan and Reine Alapini Gansou of Benin.

Both Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters are accused of killing and raping civilians during the fighting that followed the election.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.