Photo: UN Photo/Basile Zoma.Photo: UN Photo/Basile Zoma

Norway calls for reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire

4/13/2011 // “Following Mr Gbagbo’s fall this week, it is crucial that Mr Ouattara now takes responsibility for putting an end to all violence and reprisals against Mr Gbagbo’s supporters and for protecting the civilian population against looting and abuse,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

On Monday, the former president of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, was arrested and turned over to Alassane Ouattara, who won the Ivorian presidential election in November. There have been reports of violence and reprisals against Mr Gbagbo’s supporters in Abidjan since Monday due to the large number of armed groups still operating in the city, in many cases beyond the control of the parties to the conflict.

“We are pleased that the president elect can now take office. His most important tasks will be to foster reconciliation and get the wheels turning again in the country,” said Foreign Minister Støre.

The humanitarian situation that has arisen during the more than four months of conflict in the country is extremely serious.

Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented: “Mr Ouattara is facing a daunting task. I will travel to Côte d’Ivoire as soon as possible to discuss with the new president how Norway can contribute.”

Mr Ouattara won the presidential election in November last year, receiving 54% of the votes. Mr Gbagbo, who received 46% of the votes, has refused to step down, and has not acknowledged his defeat in the election.

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