Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara visiting Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 July 2017

The president of Ivory Coast – Alassane Ouattara is in Sierra Leone on a two-day working visit. He was met on arrival at the Freetown international Lungi airport today Sunday, 30th July 2017, by Sierra Leone’s Vice President – Victor Bockarie Foh.

According to the Office of Vice President Foh, the visiting President will be accompanied to the State Lodge in Freetown, where he will be meeting with his Sierra Leonean counterpart – President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The two presidents will discuss ways to improve bilateral cooperation between Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone goes to the polls in just under eight months. Both leaders are likely to discuss the need for a peaceful election in Sierra Leone and the importance of securing a smooth transition of power.

In 2010, Ivory Coast suffered serious election violence, which resulted in thousands losing their lives. The political crisis began after Laurent Gbagbo – the incumbent president of Ivory Coast, after ten years in power, refusing to accept the election results.

(Koroma asked Gbagbo to step down from office – but refused)

President Koroma headed a delegation of West African heads of state to broker peace in Ivory Coast.

But he was unsuccessful. (Photo: President Koroma meeting Gbagbo to resolve election conflict) 

It eventually took the use of force by heavily armed French troops and rebel factions supporting Alassane Ouattara to dislodge Gbagbo from office.

Alassane Ouattara was eventually proclaimed the winner of the 2010 elections.

Ouattara was installed in office as president of Ivory Coast. Gbagbo was arrested and charged by the international court for crimes against humanity at The Hague.

Sierra Leoneans have enjoyed two relatively peaceful, though controversial elections. They are hoping that 2018 elections will not resort into widespread violence.

But furthermore, they are expecting the losers of the 2018 elections to peacefully accept the results, without a repeat of what happened in Ivory Coast in 2010.

While in Freetown, visiting president Ouattara is also scheduled to meet with the Ivorian Community in Sierra Leone at the prestigious Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen.

Accompanying Vice President Foh to receive the Ivorian President, were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs – Samura Kamara; Information and Communication – Mohamed Bangura; Political and Public Affairs – Nanette Thomas; Transport and Aviation – Balogun Koroma; Energy – Henry Macauley and the Resident Minister North – Alie Kamara.

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