Ouattara to be inaugurated in Ivory Coast

2011-05-21 09:53

Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast – World leaders have begun arriving for the inauguration of Ivory Coast’s president.

The stately ceremony should have taken place six months ago after Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner of last year’s presidential election, but he was prevented from taking office by outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to cede power.

Gbagbo used the army to prevent Ouattara from leaving the hotel that had served as his campaign headquarters, forcing Ouattara to initially take the oath of office in a ceremony inside the hotel lobby attended only by his aides.

The inauguration will be attended by 20 heads of state, underscoring the world’s support of Ouattara and symbolising the end of a political saga that nearly dragged Ivory Coast into war.

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