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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs