Rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire Oct03

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Melissa Dewberry

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Rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire

Following last year’s disputed elections and the deadly violence that accompanied it, the Ivory Coast has sworn in its Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission (TRDC) which aims to forge unity.

Headed by former Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, the TRDC’s 11-member body includes “religious leaders, regional representatives, and Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba to speak for Ivorians living abroad.”

The commission has three vice-chairmen – King Desire Amon Tanoe of the Nzima ethnic group, Catholic Archbishop Paul-Simeon Ahouanan of Bouake, and Muslim High Council of Imams President Cheick Boikary Fofana.

Also included in the commission is long-time Laurent Gbagbo ally, Professor Sery Bailley.

The BBC’s John James, located in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, said: “The commission is modeled on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission but it is not clear if it will be issuing amnesties and pardons. [...] There are a lot of uncertainties about exactly how it will function, so soon after the violence ended earlier this year”

President Alassane Ouattara, whose election sparked the uproar, inaugurated the commission at a ceremony in the political capital Yamoussoukro. “We will have to tackle difficult question such as the land issue in rural areas and identity questions,” Ouattara said at the ceremony.

Ouattara finally assumed the role of president after months of fighting with supporters for former President Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo refused to concede to Ouattara despite the UN reiterating that he had, in fact, been defeated in November’s presidential poll. He is now being held in the northern part of the country under charges of “looting, armed robbery, and embezzlement in connections with the unrest.”

It is estimated that 3,000 people were killed and another 500,000 were displaced by the unrest.

Read more at BBC News.