Ouattara takes charge after Ivory Coast victory

Last Updated: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 23:29

Abidjan: President Alassane Ouattara
stamped his new authority on Ivory Coast on Friday, as troops
formerly loyal to his ousted rival Laurent Gbagbo flocked to
his banner despite ongoing violence.

United Nations peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy told
reporters in New York there was however still fighting and
"quite a lot of looting" despite Ouattara`s victory over
Gbagbo`s attempt to cling to power.

"There are still people with arms, it is still
dangerous but there are no more blockades," he said, as UN
peacekeepers and French troops worked with the new government
to restore order in the port city of Abidjan.

Ouattara`s forces captured Gbagbo on Monday after
storming his Abidjan palace, finally ending a four-month armed
stand-off that began when both men claimed to have won a
disputed presidential election.

Ouattara`s victory has been recognised by the
international community, and most countries have welcomed
Gbagbo`s downfall, but troops from both sides have been
accused of atrocities during the conflict.

The new president has vowed to create a truth and
reconciliation commission to investigate the allegations, and
has given himself two months to restore order across the
cocoa-rich West African nation.

He also called on the International Criminal Court to
probe massacres carried out in the west of the country, where
both his troops and Gbagbo`s were accused of taking part in
the massacre of hundreds of civilians.

"I will speak shortly with the ICC`s chief prosecutor
so the court can begin investigations," Ouattara told
journalists yesterday during his first major press conference
since being able to exercise executive power.

"These massacres are unacceptable... I am revolted,"
he said.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo last week
announced plans to launch a formal probe into mass killings in
Ivory Coast.

Ouattara said his priority was to rid the country of
militia fighters and mercenaries, and to collect and destroy
arms.

"Once we`ve successfully carried out these operations,
for which I have set aside one or two months, you`ll see that
pacification will be total," he said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 23:29

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