Cloud hangs over Ouattara's inauguration

Ivory Coast's president seeks to heal a fractured nation still reeling from bloody stalemate.



    It is all systems go for the inauguration of Ivory Coast's new president Alassane Ouattara after a bitter power struggle with his rival Laurent Gbagbo.

    Up to 100,000 people are expected in the nation's capital, Yamoussoukro, along with French president Nicholas Sarkozy, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and more than 20 other heads of state for the ceremony - six months after November's election.

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    The political stalemate sparked a wave of massacres, enforced disappearances and sexual violence, however, since Gbagbo's arrest in April, Ouattara has promised to reconcile the deeply divided country.

    He has created a South African-style truth and reconciliation commission to kick start the healing process and explore the deeper backgrounds behind the political and ethnic violence.

    Saturday's inauguration, says Human Rights Watch, an international rights watchdog group, is a good time to send a clear signal that "the crisis of impunity that has fuelled human rights violations in Cote d'Ivoire has ended".

    The ingredients for a successful transition into peace are justice, truth and reconciliation. But these efforts should be genuine and credible, the rights watchdog said in their letter to Ouattara.

    However, as Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports from Abidjan, some believe the steps are still not enough to heal a fractured nation still reeling from the horrors of recent months.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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