News / Africa

UN Expects Swift Economic Recovery in Ivory Coast

UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Ivory Coast, Young-jin Choi (l) and President Alessane Ouattara at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan (file photo)
UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Ivory Coast, Young-jin Choi (l) and President Alessane Ouattara at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan (file photo)

Forces loyal to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara have taken control of the presidential palace in downtown Abidjan. It was one of the last places where fighters backing the former president were holding out after months of political violence. The United Nations expects a swift economic recovery for the country once security is restored.

Ouattara forces took control of the presidential palace after U.N. peacekeepers arranged the surrender of former government troops there and cleared out a basement arsenal that included more than 500 rockets for BM-21 mobile rocket launchers.

Ouattara officials are now preparing the palace for an official inauguration, which could come in the next few days.

Mr. Ouattara came to power following Monday's capture of former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was holding out in an underground bunker refusing to recognize that he lost November's vote.

With most of Mr. Gbagbo's senior military officials now pledging their support for President Ouattara, the new government is moving quickly to restore security in Abidjan.

The U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative in Ivory Coast, Young-jin Choi, says security has improved faster than he expected, and he may soon allow U.N. staff to return to their homes after sleeping for months at the UNOCI headquarters.    

"UNOCI cars were forbidden to go out because Gbgabo's people distributed all the plate numbers and gave orders to burn UNOCI cars wherever they see them," said Choi. "But I think it is secure enough that we can show the way by going home beginning in several days."

With security, President Ouattara says he wants to get the economy back on track by resuming cocoa exports, restarting Abidjan's refinery, and reopening banks.

Buses and taxis are back on the road. Shops in most neighborhoods are open. A car dealership in the Marcory neighborhood had several customers Thursday. Furniture makers are back at work as two men pulled peach-colored upholstery across the frame of a couch.

Choi believes Ivory Coast's economy will recover quickly from more than four months of political violence because there was little damage to infrastructure.

"Destruction was really minimum," he said. "The airport is intact. It is operating now. The seaport is intact and ready to operate. The sanctions are lifted. Bridges were never broken or damaged. All the roads are there. Electricity, no damage at all. Water, no damage at all to the supply."

The European Union and France are giving Ivory Coast $840 million for emergency spending to restart essential public services and meet overdue payments.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid