Ivory Coast seeks to heal wounds with truth commission

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Ivory Coast seeks to heal wounds with truth commission

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Ivory Coast has launched a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation commission in a bid to come to terms with the violence that followed last year’s election.

The commission of 11 people includes the country’s international footballer Didier Drogba.

The process is seen as vital to restoring a lasting peace to the West African nation.

President Alassane Ouattara inaugurated the commission at a ceremony in the political capital Yamoussoukro.

“The truth means that we need to express ourselves with an open heart, and have the courage to tackle difficult questions such as the land issue in rural areas, immigration, questions of identity, retaliation as well as the violence perpetrated on our population,” he said.

Ouattara came to power in April after a long stand-off with ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to accept defeat.

The tensions between ethnic groups that spilled over after the election killed around 3,000 and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.

There have been calls for the commission to ensure it administers justice fairly.