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Time For Unity In Cote d'Ivoire


The new Ivory Coast government pose with President Alassane Ouattara after a council, at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan June 3, 2011.

It is vital that all parties there come together now for a brighter future for their nation.

The new government of Cote d'Ivoire finally has taken office and peace and stability are being restored to the West African nation. Six months after his election, President Alassane Ouattara was formally invested last month. The men and women he has named to run government ministries are organizing their departments to begin getting the country and its once vibrant economy moving again following four months of post-election violence and nearly ten years of a political stalemate.

With the Ouattara government's installation, Cote d'Ivoire has begun the transition process. It is vital that all parties there come together now for a brighter future for their nation.

Recent history in Cote d'Ivoire was anything but bright. In the course of the recent crisis, more than 3,000 people died in the fighting and more than one million were forced to flee their homes. The United Nations refugee agency estimates that hundreds of thousands remain displaced, including more than 100,000 refugees in neighboring Liberia. The security situation has improved overall, but tensions remain high in some areas.

The U.N. and other outside observers found that both the forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo and to Alassane Ouattara committed serious human rights violations during the fighting, and they called on the government to investigate and prosecute perpetrators. In another hopeful sign for the nation, President Ouattara has promised to do just that.

Many challenges lie ahead, but Cote d’Ivoire is up to the task. The economy is getting back on track. Banks are resuming operations, the ports have reopened and trade flow has resumed, and the development community stands ready to assist Cote d’Ivoire through the process of revitalizing its economy. That gives a green light for international aid to resume as well. Other bilateral donors, including the European Union and France, had already begun providing funds to the nascent government. Now all parties in Cote d'Ivoire must do their part to help realize this hopeful promise.

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