Ban Ki Moon asks Ivory Coast to forge national integration
Mr Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General has observed that Ivory Coast would face enormous challenges in restoring peace, accountability and reconciliation, after months of post-election violence.
He said although President Alassane Ouattara was about to be sworn in as President of the country, he would face a lot of difficulties in forging national cohesion, adding that he was encouraged by Mr Quattara’s commitment to ensure that peace was restored in his country.
Mr Ban made the observation when he interacted with President John Evans Atta Mills at the Kotoka International Airport, where the two personalities en route to Yamoussoukro, the Administrative Capital of neighbouring Ivory Coast to witness the investiture of President Ouattara.
Mr Ban commended President Mills for his astute leadership especially in handling the Ivorian crisis and for establishing democratic principles of governance in Ghana.
“You are an example of leaders in Africa who have established democratic principles,” he stressed.
The UN Secretary General urged President Mills to continue to work with the ECOWAS and African Union to ensure that Ivory Coast becomes peaceful.
He said the UN was ready to provide any needed technical support for Ghana’s General Election in 2012.
President Mills lauded the UN for the decision to witness the investiture of his Ivorian counterpart, saying it signified the importance that the world body attached to the attainment of peace in Ivory Coast.
He pledged Ghana’s commitment to achieve peace in Ivory Coast and asked development partners and other stakeholders to aid the process.
“We would do whatever it takes to make sure that country returns to normalcy,” President Mills said.
This is the first time ever a UN Secretary General is participating in the swearing in of a Head of State.
Fighting broke out in Ivory Coast after Mr Quattara’s predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to admit defeat following the November 2010 Presidential Election.
More than 20 heads of state including Nicolas Sarkozy, President of former colonial power France, are attending the investiture of President Ouattara.