Slow return to normal in Ivory Coast

2011-04-19 09:05

kalahari.com

Abidjan - Life slowly began to return to normal in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan on Monday as some civil servants went back to work and French forces handed back control of the main airport a week after strongman Laurent Gbagbo was toppled.

A countrywide curfew imposed on March 31 when forces loyal to new President Alassane Ouattara entered Abidjan was also lifted on Monday, local television announced.

However, only a handful of government workers turned up to work, with even Public Service Minister Gnamien Konan arriving late, saying his convoy was delayed.

"I came to simply assess what is to be done, meet with all the officials and see what urgent issues need to be put in place so that work can begin quickly," Konan told AFP in his office, where a portrait of the deposed Gbagbo still hung.

"The state machinery hasn't been running for four months. Here at the ministry I can see that people have turned up," added Konan before going into his first staff meeting.

Ouattara, a former International Monetary Fund official and long-time opposition figure, took charge on April 11 of the world's top cocoa grower when his forces stormed the presidential palace in Abidjan and seized Gbagbo.

Decomposing body

French forces said they handed back control of the Abidjan international airport to Ivorian authorities after they and the UN forces took control to evacuate foreigners from March 31.

"We handed back the control tower to the Ivorian authorities effective from o9:30," French forces spokesperson Frederic Daguillon told AFP.

By midday on Monday, more taxis and packed buses were on the streets that saw some of the fiercest fighting for 10 days between the rivals' forces ahead of Gbagbo's dramatic arrest in an operation backed by French and UN troops.

A civil servant at the parliament said that when he arrived at work "there was a decomposing body" at the building's entrance.

"Looters have stolen all the computers, they've turned everything upside down," the worker said, asking not to be named. "I don't know if we'll be able to get back to work for two or three months."

Troops from Ouattara's Republican Forces (FRCI) set up checkpoints at some crossroads, searching cars, an AFP journalist reported, with a few gunshots still heard on Monday morning as they sought to scare off looters.

Streets were still littered with garbage, leaves and twigs as small traders cleaned and repaired their looted shops.

Reborn

Banks and many supermarkets remained closed but some residents said they were just happy the violence had subsided.

"We are happy about the change. Under the previous government our lives were restricted," said Ouattara Djibril, a taxi operator in the Plateau district.

"We have all returned, but there are few clients. I hope that tomorrow will be a bit better," he added.

Newspapers also appeared for the first time on Monday almost three weeks since publication halted, praising Ouattara under whom they said the country had been reborn.

"Ivory Coast is reborn," said Nord-Sud, while the Patriot said "With ADO, Ivory Coast is reborn," referring to the new leader's initials. "Deliverance," headlined Le Mandat. The three papers are pro-Ouattara.

State-run Fraternite-Matin, which had backed the deposed Gbagbo, was however reconciliatory, under the headline "Mr Ouattara: it is together that we will write our history."

State machinery


Gbagbo - who spent a decade in power - had refused to accept defeat in November's presidential vote, provoking a violent stand-off even though the UN and the bulk of the international community had recognised Ouattara's victory.

The ex-president is under house arrest in the north of the country while former rebel fighters loyal to Ouattara patrol Abidjan along with UN peacekeepers and a force from former colonial master France.

His Ivorian Popular Front party said over the weekend it had noted the order for the state machinery to start functioning again, and urged an "end to the war" and the "increasing violence".

The country's largest student union also called on its members to disarm and heed Ouattara's reconciliation call.

Read more on:    alassane ouattara  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 09:37 AM
Road name: N2 Inbound

ROADWORKS - one lane closed at Main Road

Cape Town 06:03 AM
Road name: MetroRail

Train services between Nyanga/Chris Hani (Khayelitsha) and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip remain SUSPENDED - all stations on these sections are CLOSED

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

MDW905 MECHATRONICS ENGINEER

Cape Winelands
Anchor Executive Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R25 000 - R35 000 Per Month

VB Developer

Cape Winelands
Navy Blue Suits
R23 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Mobile Developer

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.