NPR logo Ivory Coast's New Leader Takes Control Amid Violence

International

Ivory Coast's New Leader Takes Control Amid Violence

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara chats with military and police officials who've now pledged their support to him. Aristide Bodegla/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Aristide Bodegla/AFP/Getty Images

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara chats with military and police officials who've now pledged their support to him.

Aristide Bodegla/AFP/Getty Images

The former leader of Ivory Coast has been moved to a 'secure location' somewhere in his country, according to the BBC. Laurent Gbagbo was arrested Monday by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of presidential elections. Gbagbo refused to step down last fall and the country plunged into violent chaos. Ouattara won't say where Gbagbo is now.

Now that Ouattara's defeated his rival, he's also secured the backing of Ivorian military and police officials, according to NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. She says Ouattara stands a better chance of restoring security to lawless Abidjan. But he faces the far bigger chance of reuniting and reconciling the nation.

That's a daunting task, according to Reuters, because revenge killings continue. The bodies of murdered people lie in Abijan streets; Amnesty International reports uniformed men are conducting house-to-house searches for people thought to be Gbagbo supporters. People are going into hiding.

The Guardian says people thought to be Ouattara supporters continue to be attacked. Despite Ouattara's appeals for reconciliation, hundreds of people are still fleeing north out of Abidjan.

NPR thanks our sponsors