Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara met Thursday with the top court official who had declared he had lost to the ousted leader Laurent Gbagbo in the disputed November elections. Ouattara received constitutional court chief Paul Yao N'Dre at Abidjan's Golf Hotel. When askes if he felt responsible, Yao N'Dre laid the blame on the current and the former president, citizens and the media for inflaming the situation and added that everyone has to work together to rebuild Ivory Coast.
Without giving a specific date, the new president said he will be sworn in, in the second half of May in the central city of Yamoussoukro and voiced hope that legislative polls would be held before the end of the year. The constitutional court chief met with Ouattara, who has vowed a policy of reconciliation, after the president received allegiances from the country's top military officers and the heads of the main institutions. In another sign of normalisation, the African Union, which had suspended Ivory Coast on the 9th of December in the wake of the crisis, lifted the restriction on Thursday.
However, Ouattara's administration is still struggling to restore security in the country and has faced resistance in the main city Abidjan from die-hard pro-Gbagbo militia. Pockets of defiant fighters in the northwestern Yopougon district have refused to lay down arms. Government forces launched an offensive on Wednesday to dislodge the militants without success, but a military official said they halted the operation to allow negotiations with those willing to disarm.