Ivory Coast Reopens Central Prison
August 17, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Aug. 17 (UPI) — In a move to restore the rule of law in Ivory Coast, U.N. peacekeepers said they helped renovate a prison in Abidjan emptied during the political crisis.
The prison in Abidjan, the commercial capital and largest city in Ivory Coast, was emptied during a political crisis that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.
Francoise Simard, a legal officer for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, said U.N. peacekeepers helped Ivorian officials renovate and reopen the facility as part of a move to restore the country’s judicial authority.
“This is a very important advance at the level of the state of law and the restoration of institutions,” he said in a statement. “We must congratulate Ivory Coast for its determination to reopen the prison.”
The international community recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner of a November presidential election. Incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down and rival clashes left thousands of people dead and many more displaced.
Gbagbo was arrested in April with the help of French peacekeepers. Human rights group accuse both sides of atrocities during the crisis.