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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs