News / Africa

Ouattara Moves to Restore Security to Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, April 11 2011
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, April 11 2011

Multimedia

President Alassane Ouattara is moving to restore security in Ivory Coast one week after his country's political crisis ended with the arrest of former president Laurent Gbagbo. Mr. Gbagbo held on to power with the help of the military, refusing to recognize that he lost November's vote.

The dramatic capture of Mr. Gbagbo, who was holding out in an underground bunker at the presidential compound, brings to an end more than four months of political uncertainty in Ivory Coast where Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara both claimed the presidency.

Mr. Ouattara has ordered his justice minister to prepare charges against Mr. Gbagbo and his wife, Simone, who ran the country for ten years and tried to hold on to power even when the African Union and the international community recognized Mr. Ouattara as the duly-elected leader.



More than 1,000 people died in the battle between rival presidents as pro-Ouattara forces fought their way south toward Abidjan where United Nations and French attack helicopters bombed Gbagbo heavy artillery and rocket launchers.

Jaqueline Yin and her daughter hid in their home. "We were shut inside for three days. We could not eat, could not eat. We had to move to another neighborhood, but the fighting was somewhere else, so we were OK. After three days we got out and now I am walking around to see how things are," she said.

Modest Danon says the fight for Abidjan was the only way to remove Mr. Gbagbo from power and respect the will of voters. "The last week was hard for the Ivorian people because of the fight between pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces. But the victory by President Ouattara is a good thing because he is recognized by the international community and was elected by the Ivorian people. Everyone wants to see their lives improve and the country be better organized," he said.

Life is quickly returning to something closer to normal within days of Mr. Gbagbo's capture. Produce from the interior is once again reaching Abidjan markets now that roads are cleared of combat. Most of the big grocery stores and pharmacies are open. Fuel is readily available.

Jaquiline Yin is hoping for a better future for her daughter. "In the future, now that we have a president, life will better. Now that it is all over and we have a new president, life will be good," she said.

Modest Danon says President Ouattara has what it takes to make a difference. "My hope is that we will have a good president here. He is an economist who should be able to make Ivory Coast better because everyone wants enough work and enough to eat to end the suffering of our country," he said.

President Ouattara says the challenges are considerable but can be overcome if everyone stays calm and treats one and other with respect. "We are still in a delicate situation. We still need to secure the country, especially Abidjan, these steps are essential and will still take a few months," he said.

President Ouattara is giving himself two months to completely restore security in Ivory Coast.  In that time, he intends to renew cocoa exports, restart the oil refinery, and reopen banks to get the economy moving again while restoring essential public services to improve conditions for a society disrupted by nearly 10 years of civil war, instability, and political violence.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs