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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora