Cote d'Ivoire returns to normal: UN

15:55, May 28, 2011      

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Muslims attend the Friday prayer on the Mercedes Street in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, May 27, 2011. As a spot for Muslims to do weekly Friday prayers before the post-election crisis, the Mercedes Street once became empty during the clashes in April. Now prayers are getting back to the street on Fridays since calm is returning to Abidjan after former President Laurent Gbabgo had been arrested by President Alassane Ouattara's security forces. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

The chairman of the UN's independent international commission of inquiry on Cote d'Ivoire, Vittit Muntabhorn, has affirmed that normality is slowly returning to the West African country, although the government has yet to overcome certain challenges.

Muntabhorn was speaking on Friday when he addressed a press conference in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital.

Muntabhorn said these challenges include ensuring security for the population, especially in Abidjan and the western part of the country.

The official of the independent international commission of inquiry on Cote d'Ivoire said he was pleased that all parties engaged in finding a solution to the country's post-election conflict have expressed desire for peace and harmony among communities.

"We have met various groups and we have seen the willingness to reconcile, the desire to live together again and this has encouraged us," Muntabhorn said.

He also expressed satisfaction with the determination of Cote d'Ivoire's authorities to seek justice, truth, dialogue and reconciliation.

"The Cote d'Ivoire government should make all efforts to ensure that it punishes all human rights violators and the international community should help it," the commission recommended.

An independent international commission of inquiry on human rights violations in Cote d'Ivoire after the Nov. 28 presidential elections stayed in the country for four weeks to investigate various cases.

The commission is expected to present its findings on June 15 in Geneva.

Cote d'Ivoire is trying to restore normalcy after the violence, looting and killings that happened before the arrest of the country's former strongman Laurent Gbagbo on April 11.

The new government has indicated that the post-election violence sparked by the political stand-off between Gbagbo and the then president-elect, Alassane Ouattara, claimed 3,000 lives.

In a recent report, the UN said in the western part alone, at least 1,012 people were killed during the inter-ethnic clashes and the military confrontations.

Source: Xinhua
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