By Own Correspondent – The Ivorians at the Ampain refugee camp in the Ellembelle District have expressed their unhappiness over the arrest of former President Laurent Gbagbo.
One of the refugees, Kouadwi Patrice, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the report of the former president’s capture was greeted with sorrow because quite a number of the refugees at the camp were his followers.
Patrice said though the war is over, he is not prepared to return to his home country because forces loyal to Ouattara would continue to harass the pro-Gbagbo followers.
He said he would prefer travelling further to Europe to look for greener pastures than to go back to his war-ravaged Country. Patrice complained about the quality of food being given to them at the camp and appealed to the authorities to improve it. He said sometimes the food is not well cooked and I have personally experienced stomach upsets after eating them.
Meanwhile, the Camp Manager of the Refugee Camp, Mr Kelly Forson has appealed tophilanthropists and benevolent organisations in the country to provide them with television sets so that the refugees could watch some of the ongoing UEFA Champions League matches.
In a related development , United States (US) President Barack Obama has welcomed “the decisive turn of events” in Cote d’Ivoire, as former President Laurent Gbagbo’s illegitimate claim to power has finally come to an end.
“This represents a victory for the democratic will of the Ivoirian people, who have suffered for far too long through the instability that followed their election,” he said.
“Today, the people of Cote d’Ivoire have the chance to begin to reclaim their country, solidify their democracy and rebuild a vibrant economy that taps the extraordinary potential of the Ivoirian people.” President Obama’s comments are contained in a statement issued in Accra by the US Embassy in Accra on Tuesday.
He said in the four months that had passed since Alassane Ouattara was elected President, the United States and international community had strongly supported the results of Cote d’Ivoire’s democratic election, and the right of the Ivoirian people to determine their own destiny.
President Obama said these results came after several years of support by the international community for Cote d’Ivoire’s peace and democratic processes.
“The United Nations Security Council, members of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all worked to advance the goal of a democratic Cote d’Ivoire in which the rule of the people is stronger than the rule of one man.
“The United States commends the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire and French forces for the actions that they have taken to protect civilians.”
President Obama told Ouattara and the people of Cote d’Ivoire that the hard work of reconciliation and rebuilding must begin now. “President Ouattara will need to govern on behalf of all the people of Cote d’Ivoire, including those who did not vote for him. “All militia groups should lay down their weapons and recognize an inclusive military that protects all citizens under the authority of President Ouattara.”
President Obama said the victims and survivors of violence deserved accountability for the violence and crimes that have been committed against them.
He urged the international community to continue to support the people of Cote d’Ivoire as they turned the page to a more hopeful and democratic future.
“In that effort, a democratic Cote d’Ivoire that respects the rights of its people will always have a friend in the United States of America,” President Obama said.