President Alassane Ouattara

In 2011, Cote d’Ivoire was rising from a severe political crisis. The crisis grew out of an undecided November 28, 2010 presidential runoff vote between former president Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. Both Gbagbo and Ouattara maintained electoral triumph and formed opposing government (Cook, 2011). As a result of Gbagbo’s confinement, president Ouattara called for public order and calm, and indicated that his urgent precedence was to maintain security. The president warned against efforts to seek revenge or to engage in retaliation attacks in reaction to the events during the crisis (Cook, 2011). Ouattara proposed all grievances to be solved through forgiveness and reconciliation.

President Alassane Ouattara directed that his administration would give itself up to two-months to realize the full reconciliation of the whole country. This was achieved by primarily halting the actions of rebel forces and mercenaries who mutually with youth militias were called to hand over their weapons (Cook, 2011). Through the leadership of Ouattara, the government spearheaded the assortment and demolition of arms, mainly through deliberate relinquishment but also under the peril of illegal trial and coercive processes (Frindéthié, 2010).

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The Republican Forces assisted by French and UN forces arrested Gbagbo, whose forces were compelled to give in or escape (Adebajo, 2012). The victory of the Republican Forces in using power to comprehend Ouattara’s democratic mandate will have deep and uncertain repercussions for upcoming electoral practices in Africa. On the other hand Ouattara operated as a cordial statesman in mending national divisions by incorporating some of Gbagbo’s followers and Southern legislators into his upcoming government and building legitimately incorporated national armed forces with the support of the United Nations.

Moreover, Cook (2011) indicated that “prior to Gbagbo’s arrest, these forces using small mounted artillery, helicopter gunships, and armored vehicles had attacked the compound in a bid to neutralize heavy weapons reportedly being used by Gbagbo’s forces” (pg. 2). The operations of the Republican Forces were centered on a need to guard civilians, United Nations workforce, and foreign representatives and ambassadors against assaults by pro-Gbagbo militia. The Republican Forces had in preceding days targeted other pro-Gbagbo military camps and operational locations in Abidjan used by his militia. Ouattara formally accepted the FN on March 17, when he signed a ruling creating new state armed forces, the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI), which included the FN and the pre-existing national army (Cook, 2011).

In addition, Cook says that as of April 14, the Republican Forces were guarding the roads of Abidjan, in some instances with forces previously loyal to Gbagbo and in commandeered civilian vehicles (pg. 3, 2011). Research shows that negligible fighting allegedly erupted on April 16th and occurred again in consequent days as a result of efforts of the Republican Forces to compel the surrender and disarmament of trace pro-Gbagbo forces in the great normally pro-Gbagbo Yopougon part of Abidjan. The republican forces certified that regardless of negligible battle and pillaging, gas stations and public transport started to operate again in some areas of the capital. Through the efforts of the republican forces commercial activity started to pick up. Ouattara’s administration ensured that piped water and electricity distribution that had been cut due to fighting had been restored in most areas of the capital city (Frindéthié, 2010).

After the fighting stopped, humanitarian situations remained deprived but were gradually stabilizing. Cook established that Ouattara’s government commenced a check and procedural effort essential to get rid of United States sanctions on non-humanitarian joint aid that had been in place since 1999 (2011). The Ouattara’s government came up with a policy paper which dogged on forthcoming United States policy toward the dismissal, disbandment and reintegration and security division transformation programs. The policy also included answers to post-conflict humanitarian and intermediary expansion needs (Cook, 2011). 

The Republican Forces campaign stumbled upon fruitless organized armed forces resistance in the remote parts of Abidjan which caused many civilian deaths, human rights maltreatments and population dislocations. Eventually it was noted that apart from maintaining security, key urgent priorities of the Ouattara government were efforts to restart cocoa sell overseas and banking operations (Africa Economic Outlook, 2011). Cook indicated that Ouattara and the Republican Forces played a fundamental role is commencing a program of post conflict fiscal development, infrastructure rehabilitation, economic recuperation and alliances of the divided country (2011). Infrastructure and public services in numerous parts of the country, particularly the north experienced lack of state investment and overlook during the country’s ten years of conflict and political stand-offs. 

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Despite the financial paralysis, Ouattara’s forecast for 2011 was for a tough fall of 7.3 percent in real GDP growth. The administration projected a steady recuperation in 2012 of 5.9 percent based on the premise of the people’s safety returning to normal in the mid of 2011 (Africa Economic Outlook, 2011). The dedication of development associates to support Ouattara in his government’s efforts for resolution and reconstruction enabled trust to be reinstated hence encouraging private sector development (Adebajo, 2012).

Ouattara ensured that the country’s medium-term fiscal and social outlook mainly relied on reinstatement of peace and urgent renovation plans being put in place. Despite the socio-political calamities of the last ten years, Ouattara made sure that the country partnered with upcoming economies which noticeably amplified their support in terms of infrastructure development (Africa Economic Outlook, 2011). Ouattara in association with the Republican Forces further ensured that his government received considerable assurances of global post-war economic changeover assistance. France for example offered assistance worth $578 million, consisting of $350 million loans in support of the country’s budgetary aid (Cook, 2011). The European Union presented $260 million endowments to assist in crucial public spending, including wellbeing, water, hygiene, agriculture and to clear the country’s debt arrears to the European Investment Bank (Cook, 2011).

To restart cocoa exports, Ouattara signed a verdict which declared that the port of Abidjan was under his government’s control and named a provisional port manager. This laid the basis of swiftly reinitiating cocoa exports. On April 15th , Ouattara brought to an end an almost three month interdict on cocoa and coffee exports enforced by other country’s to cut off Gbagbo regime access to export earnings (Africa Economic Outlook, 2011). The development came after European Union; on Ouattara’s appeal lifted bans on certain previously Gbagbo guarded entities, such as the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro and key government institutions involved in oil refining and cocoa and coffee exports. During the month of April, the Ouattara administration aided by the Republican Forces also reopened the national branches of the provincial central bank and airlifted into the country enough supplies of the regional West African currency (Shillinger, 2011). Cook noted that private banks which had suspended operations in the month of February committed to resuming operations in the country as of April 13th (2011). This facilitated financial operations in major cities of the country. 

Regardless of ensuring state and public safety and economy recovery, Ouattara’s administration main concern was to put in place means and practices and instantaneously ensure transitional justice (Shillinger, 2011). Ouattara called for judicial responsibility for infringements of human rights rule, as well as other suspected offences. Cook (2011) articulated that the president also established a procedure of transitional justice in the shape of truth justice and reconciliation commission (TRC). The president suggested that the TRC was authorized to document carnages, felonies and other human rights infringements by all parties arising from the post election crisis together with maltreatments during the 1990s. Ouattara also requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged crimes arising from the crisis (Cook, 2011).

As part of the armed forces reform, Ouattara signed the establishment of the FRCI, a new military including the former Forces Nouvelles and the state military previously loyal to Gbagbo. By bringing the two forces together, Ouattara proved this to be a counter scheme to demobilize troops, rather than employ new ones (Adebajo, 2012). Cook says that the move was stirred by the Ouattara’s administration need to ensure that national security forces were devoted (2011). Ouattara’s move also reduced effects of ethnic favoritism during a period when the government was putting efforts to promote national and ethno-regional unification (Cook, 2011).

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To ensure effective governance, Ouattara engaged in the reforming state authenticity and functioning capacity, including the conduct of long-delayed parliamentary elections (Cook, 2011). To effectively run his government, the president brought to an end the recruitment of ethno-regionally diverse incumbents to fill many government posts (Shillinger, 2011). In addition, the president ensured the confederation of the national territory and the expansion of state authority in the entire north and the centralization of the national reserves. Nevertheless, the prevailing post-crisis aim and national political confederation, has remained a fundamental dispute for a long period of time (Shillinger, 2011).           

In conclusion, Ouattara has remained the people favorite because of his concerns of protecting the interest of the country. He has over a long period of time been concerned about protecting the welfare of the Ivorian people, a people that has declared never to bow to the imperialist demands. It is therefore important to note that although Ouattara did not have control over all the troops and rebel militias that were fighting for him, he was assisted by the Republication Forces to restore peace in the country. Also, with the support of the Republication Forces, Ouattara ran as a nationwide aspirant. His major support was drawn from northern factions, whose complaints had in part been stirred by Ouattara’s constant ineligibility as an electoral contender during past elections. 

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