News / Africa

Ouattara Government Forms New Ivory Coast Army

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (R) shakes hands with General Philippe Mangou, chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, April 12, 2011
Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (R) shakes hands with General Philippe Mangou, chief of staff of former pro-Laurent Gbagbo Defense and Security Forces (FDS), at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, April 12, 2011

In Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara's new government is recruiting more security forces to improve conditions in the commercial capital after more than four months of political violence. Life is increasingly returning to normal less than a week after the arrest of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

In the fight to bring President Ouattara to power after he won November's vote, groups of young men rose up in pro-Ouattara neighborhoods of Abidjan to confront former president Gbagbo's army.

Now some of those Ouattara militiamen are getting the chance to join the new Ouattara government as soldiers and policemen. Yaya Cisse is a trainer for the new Republican Forces of Ivory Coast.

Cisse says these are civilians who will be trained to become real soldiers. Those who want to become policemen will continue. Those who want to quit, he says, we will let them go.

Replenishing Ivory Coast's security services is a big part of restoring order in the commercial capital where President Ouattara wants to quickly resume cocoa exports, reopen banks, and restart the refinery to get the country's economy moving again.

With the post-electoral crisis over, President Ouattara says Ivorians must now engage in two big projects: the project of reconciliation and the project of reconstruction. He says it may take several months to fully restore security throughout the country, but that can be accomplished if everyone adopts a spirit of democracy and peace.

Electrician Mohammed Dikite says the challenges are substantial, especially in security. But he believes Ivorians are ready to regain their place in West Africa after nearly a decade of instability, civil war, and political violence.

Dikite says with Ouattara there can be an Ivory Coast as strong as it was under founding father Felix Houphouet-Boigny. That is what people are hoping for. The Gbagbo government did not build roads or hospitals or universities, Dikite says, it only attacked its own people.

Gbagbo was captured by Ouattara forces Monday and has been moved to a presidential villa in northern Ivory Coast, where U.N. Special Representative Young-jin Choi says he is under the projection of both Ouattara forces and U.N. peacekeepers.

"We will continue his protection, " said Choi. "So wherever he goes inside Cote d'Ivoire, there will be UNOCI forces to contribute to his protection. We will do everything we can do so that he will be treated with dignity."

Choi says it is up to the Ouattara government to decide on criminal charges against Mr. Gbagbo. President Ouattara says the former leader will face both national and international justice for crimes against the Ivorian people.

Gbagbo's daughter has established a Paris-based legal defense fund for her father, who she says is being illegally detained by what she calls Ouattara rebels.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid