The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on President-elect Alassane Ouattara to avoid “a new bloodbath” in Ivory Coast.
Amid an outpouring of joy in the main city Abidjan, the internationally-recognised leader has called for peace and “a new era of hope.”
Alongside the scenes of jubilation on the streets, there was relief that the tense stand-off and violence of the past few weeks had reached a conclusion.
There was also a feeling that 10 years of Laurent Gbagbo’s rule and civil war could now be swept away.
The country’s new leader is conscious of the task ahead. Hours after the dramatic arrest of his rival who had clung onto power for as long as possible, Ouattara went on television. He said Gbagbo would face justice, and he appealed for calm.
“I therefore call on all my fellow countrymen who might be tempted by a feeling of vengeance to refrain from any acts of reprisals or violence,” he said.
“I reiterate my will to put in place a commission of truth and reconciliation which will shed light on all massacres, crimes and other human rights abuses.”
Gbagbo has been promised physical protection.
Despite the ecstatic celebrations, the wounds from the conflict are fresh. More than a thousand have been killed and a million displaced.