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Ouattara: 'War over'

Andrew Harding | 10:55 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

It has been quieter in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan.

Forces loyal to the internationally recognised elected president, Alassane Ouattara, are still consolidating their hold on the city.

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But in a televised address, Mr Ouattara made it clear he felt the war was over and the priority now to get the country back to work.

Mr Ouattara barely mentioned his rival, Laurent Gbagbo, who remains besieged in his presidential residence in the city.

After days of failed attempts to remove him by force and by negotiations, a strategy of containment seems to be in place.

Mr Gbagbo's militia groups remain at large in Abidjan. There are continuing reports of ambushes, looting and attacks on civilians.


  • Comment number 1.

    Harding I hope and pray that this war is actually over. The Ivorian people have suffered unnecessary for far too long. I am optimistic but I also believe complete peace would not be achieved if Gbagbo and his murderous henchmen are not arrested immediately. For almost ten years Gbagbo and his government deliberately promoted ethnocentrism, religious intolerance and disenfranchised a whole region. Outtara should be given all required support to bring Ivory Coast back to where it belongs.

    Outtara and his government should also take a cue from the past and do all that it takes to unite all the Ivorian people.

  • Comment number 2.

    While it is the hope of every peace loving Ivorian and person to see the end of the war in Ivory Coast, the fact in the ground seems to be far beyond from that. I will only consider the war is over in Ivory Coast if the opposing forces come out in the open and declare their genuine intention for peace and reconciliation. This will mean that the two parties will have to declare their genuine desire to move from the current state of destructions to negotiation, dispute settlement, peace agreement and, post-conflict peace building phases.

    While the containment strategy is now being put in place will, to some extent, temporary prevent the expansion of the war and its devastating damages, it seems to me that the containment strategy by itself may not bring a long-term solution to the underlying conflict in which the country is trapped.

  • Comment number 3.

    just spent a very uneven day in abidjan. the morning was calm - lots of civilians out on the streets, small markets open etc. people anxious about food and water and above all, worried about getting hold of cash. ouatarra troops patrolling one neighbourhood we visited were a mixed bunch - some clearly drunk, and one car loaded with soldiers and what looked like looted goods, but others at least attempting to patrol. i witnessed an interesting argument between a senior military commander and a local policeman. the soldier was telling the policeman to get his forces out on the streets to help patrol and stop the looting. the policeman replied that his neighbourhood was still under the control of gbagbo militias who were "burning civilians" every day. his police were all at home, too afraid to come to work. then gunfire erupted in the early afternoon. the reaction from ouatarra's fairly rag-tag soldiers was pretty shocking. they were hopelessly disorganised and panicky. their commander, who had earlier lectured them about not looting, started screaming at them for being uninterested in fighting - "this isn't a game" he said. the shooting eventually died down.

  • Comment number 4.

    Please Ivorians learn to live with others different from you. Human beings on planet earth can't all be betes so please let us learn to appreciate our differences that is what makes the world a beautiful place.


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