Obama welcomes "decisive turn of events" in Cote d'Ivoire

09:10, April 12, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed the "decisive turn of events" in Cote d'Ivoire as former president Laurent Gbagbo was detained following a four- months-long power struggle in the West African country.

Obama called for Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara, who is widely recognized as the winner in the Nov. 28 presidential runoff, to begin now "the hard work of reconciliation and rebuilding."

"The United States welcomes the decisive turn of events in Cote d'Ivoire, as former president Laurent Gbagbo's illegitimate claim to power has finally come to an end," the president said in a statement, describing Gbagbo's detention as "a victory for the democratic will of the Ivorian people, who have suffered for far too long through the instability that followed their election."

Gbagbo and his wife were detained on Monday in a French-led military assault at his residence in the commercial capital Abidjan, which followed a military offensive launched in late March by forces loyal to Ouattara to force Gbagbo out.

"For President Ouattara and the people of Cote d'Ivoire, the hard work of reconciliation and rebuilding must begin now," Obama said. "President Ouattara will need to govern on behalf of all the people of Cote d'Ivoire, including those who did not vote for him. "

He called for all militia groups in Cote d'Ivoire to lay down their weapons, and said that "the victims and survivors of violence deserve accountability for the violence and crimes that have been committed against them."

Source: Xinhua
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