News

    Ouattara Has Message of Reconciliation One Year Later

    A supporter of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara dances as she holds a banner reading in French "Peace and reconciliation" during a meeting on April 22, 2012 in Guiglo.
    A supporter of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara dances as she holds a banner reading in French "Peace and reconciliation" during a meeting on April 22, 2012 in Guiglo.

    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara is taking a message of reconciliation to towns still affected by last year’s violent transfer of power.  On Monday he visited Duekoue, where hundreds of people were killed allegedly by his supporters during the armed struggle that ensued when former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to give up power after losing an election.  President Ouattara spoke of unity and promised development.

    President Alassane Ouattara arrived to a warm welcome in Duekoue and the rest of the western region, bearing new Toyota SUVs, $500,000 for the districts and promises to end all power outages and water cuts by the end of the year.   

    His plan, coupled with a message of reconciliation, may be winning over Ivorians who opposed his election.

    In the isolated town of Toulepleu, where the majority of the population is from the Guere ethnic group, which overwhelmingly supported former president Laurent Gbagbo,  Mr. Ouattara’s promises were received with applause.

    "I can tell you, yes, I can tell you that for the road from Toulepleu, Blolequin, we're finished the research, and the road will be paved before the end of my term."

    Fifty-year-old farmer Anderson Kele in Toulepleu sits under a tree sipping tea and talking with his friend who he lived with in Liberia for one year as a refugee.  He says he was apprehensive when the president’s security forces arrived in Toulepleu a couple of days before the president’s arrival.

    He says when he saw the soldiers arrive, it resembled the arrival of the rebels last year.  He says they were afraid and had fear in their hearts, but in the end no one was threatened.  He believes now that you have to put your confidence in the winner, and he thinks the population in Toulepleu supports Mr. Ouattara now.

    In each town the president visits, development promises are coupled with words of reconciliation.  His new mantra is that he is the president of all Ivorians and he is asking for all ethnic and religious groups to work with him to build a stable and united future.

    "In order for there to be reconciliation, there needs to be forgiveness, but there also needs to be repentance. I ask all of those among you, all of we Ivoirians, in whatever manner it happened, that those of us who have carried out misdeeds, we admit them to the justice system," he said.

    But not everyone is so quick to accept the president’s message.

    During the president’s visit in Duekoue Monday, site of a notorious massacre in the Carrefour  neighborhood by what human rights groups says were pro Ouattara fighters, some say they are still unsettled.

    Constance Bohe, a leader of one group of returnees, says people here still do not have the truth, and there hasn’t been any justice for the perpetrators.

    He says it’s not normal for the neighborhood to undergo a massacre and then to not have the truth, to move on without knowing what happened and who did what.  He says the neighborhood has not seen any concrete action from the justice system other than visits by some government and International Criminal Court investigators.

    The government’s commission of inquiry and the ICC are still investigating post-election crimes in Ivory Coast.  The United Nations estimates more than 3,000 people died in the 2011 post-election ethnic violence.  So far, no one who supported President Ouattara has been charged.

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora