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Ivory Coast President Returns After Surgery in France

  • VOA News

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara (L) waves next to wife Dominique (R) as they arrive at Felix Houphouet-Boigny international airport in Abidjan March 2, 2014.
Thousands flooded the streets of Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan, Sunday to welcome back President Alassane Ouattara after a month of medical treatment in France.

Ouattara, who came to power in 2011, underwent a successful operation to alleviate pain caused by sciatica.

Although he walked across the airport tarmac with the help of a cane, he otherwise showed little sign of his recent illness.

Thousands of supporters, many of them beating drums or holding signs of welcome, lined the long route from the airport to the president's residence.

Since taking office, Ouattara has won praise from international partners for fostering an economic renaissance in French-speaking West Africa's largest economy.