[QODLink]
Europe
France forgives Ivory Coast's debt worth $4bn
Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara says cancellation of the debt will help the West African country develop.
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:45

Ivory Coast's president says France's decision to forgive $4.67bn in debt will help his impoverished country develop.

Alassane Ouattara was in Paris on Thursday, meeting Francois Hollande, France's president, two days after the agreement to cancel the debt by the former colonial master.

That deal stems from an earlier decision by a group of Western creditor nations called the Paris Club.

Ouattara took office after disputed November 2010 elections that left thousands dead in post-vote violence. His predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, is now facing international charges of crimes against humanity.

France's decision prompted pro-Gbagbo supporters in Paris on Monday to protest against French backing of the ousting of the former president, who they see as the country's rightful leader.

Around 100 demonstrators assembled in the square in front of the Saint Philippe-du-Roule church, but police began to arrest the Gbagbo supporters once they refused to leave the park.

While playing Ivorian music and dancing, the protesters chanted anti-Ouattara and anti-imperialist slogans. Scores were loaded onto at least three police buses. 

National Police surrounded the triangular park from all sides, cordoning off demonstrators inside and outside of the area where people would be forcibly removed.

Most of those arrested were of Ivorian origin, although a few non-African French activists were also taken away.

Ivory Coast headed to the brink of civil war in early 2011 when Gbagbo refused to concede defeat after losing the presidential runoff vote to Ouattara.

After months of violence, Ouattara was sworn in as president in May 2011, but tension between his supporters and Gbagbo's remain high.

French and UN troops fought along side those of Ouattara during a months-long offensive that toppled Gbagbo.

305

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list