News / Africa

Ouattara Takes Oath of Office as Ivory Coast President

Alassane Ouattara is sworn into office as Ivory Coast's president on May 6, 2011 at the presidential palace in Abidjan after months of political violence
Alassane Ouattara is sworn into office as Ivory Coast's president on May 6, 2011 at the presidential palace in Abidjan after months of political violence

Multimedia

Audio

Ivory Coast's president has taken the oath of office, formally ending the violent political crisis that followed November's disputed election. A U.N. human rights team is investigating a possible mass grave in an Abidjan suburb where the new national army has been battling loyalists of the ousted president.

President Alassane Ouattara swore to respect and defend Ivory Coast's constitution and protect the rights and liberties of all citizens.

In a brief ceremony at Abidjan's presidential palace, he said it is the start of a new era of reconciliation and unity for all Ivorians.

Ouattara has been the country's de facto leader since last month's capture of former president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to hand over power sparked a wave of political violence.

Gbagbo is now under house arrest in northern Ivory Coast where prosecutors Friday questioned him about his alleged role in that violence. Two French lawyers retained by his daughter were turned back at Abidjan's airport.

President Ouattara's office says he will have a formal inauguration in the political capital Yamoussoukro May 21. Friday's oath of office followed the constitutional council officially making him president.

Constitutional council president Paul Yao N'dre says the council endorses the African Union decision to settle the crisis and therefore proclaims Alassane Ouattara President of the Republic of Ivory Coast.

N'dre helped set off this political crisis five months ago by annulling as fraudulent nearly ten percent of all ballots cast to announce Gbagbo's re-election. The United Nations certified electoral commission results that showed Ouattara won the vote by eight percent.

N'dre says the council overturned its previous ruling because Ivory Coast is a member of the African Union and recognizes "international norms and standards accepted by competent national organs" as more authoritative than internal decisions.

Fighting in Abidjan's Yopougon neighborhood has continued as militia still loyal to Gbagbo are holding out against Ouattara's new national army.

Red Cross officials say they have collected 60 bodies in Youpougon this week. The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says investigators are examining a possible link between an alleged mass grave in the neighborhood and a Wednesday attack on a Baptist church.

Ouattara is moving to restore security in Abidjan. He has already reopened banks and resumed cocoa exports.

The European Union is delivering $63 million of aid for the agricultural and justice sectors as the first installment of what will eventually be $261 million  in assistance.

The United States is providing $43 million to help relief groups deliver health care, clean water, and household items to displaced civilians.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic says the priority now is reopening health centers that were closed by the political crisis.

"In regions of Montagna Moyen Cavally, 55 out of 106 health centers are not operational and five out of eight hospitals. And this is due to the lack of personnel. It is due to looting of drugs and medical equipment or partial or total destruction of health infrastructures. Sixty percent of health workers are absent, and those who have stayed have not received salaries for three months," he said.

WHO says it is working to help pay health workers in Ivory Coast, especially in rural areas. It says most of the health centers in Abidjan are open but do not have enough supplies.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid