Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara moved to bolster his authority in the deeply divided country on Monday with a probe into members of his ousted rival’s regime for "blood crimes"
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara moved to bolster his authority in the deeply divided country on Monday with a probe into members of his ousted rival's regime for "blood crimes".
The former IMF official and long-time opposition figure took charge on April 11 of the world's top cocoa grower when his forces stormed the presidential palace in Abidjan and seized defiant strongman Laurent Gbagbo.
Ouattara's government ordered civil servants to resume work from Monday -- exactly a week after Gbagbo's dramatic arrest. And Justice Minister Jeannot Ahoussou told AFP he would ask prosecutors to investigate members of Gbagbo's regime suspected of various crimes, adding the focus would be on "blood crimes", weapons purchases or embezzlement.
Targets could be members of the previous government but also journalists of state radio RTI, which was viewed as a powerful propaganda mouthpiece for the regime.
Abidjan, the west African country's main city, meanwhile slowly returned to normal after 10 days of fighting that finally led to Gbagbo's ouster.
The ex-president is under house arrest in the north of the country while former rebel fighters loyal to Ouattara patrol Abidjan along with UN peacekeepers and a force from former colonial master France.
Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front party on Saturday said it had noted the order for the state machinery to start functioning again, and urged an "end to the war" and the "increase in violence".
Ouattara's government said about 70 people arrested with Gbagbo, including family members and house staff, were freed on Saturday. Of the 120-some people detained with him, 30 members of his family, including his grandchildren, were released and taken to "a destination we are keeping confidential", Ouattara's justice minister said. Another 38 people, mainly house staff including cooks and gardeners, were also released and "each has gone home", he said