Ivory Coast's president to head West African bloc

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 12:27 PM
Ivory Coast's president to head West African bloc

Nigeria's president has announced that his Ivorian counterpart is replacing him as chair of the West African regional bloc.

President Goodluck Jonathan said in Abuja on Friday that the Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, had unanimously chosen Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara as Jonathan's term expired.

The bloc played a key role in Ouattara's ascension to the presidency of Ivory Coast by recognizing him as winner of a Nov. 28, 2010 runoff election.

Last November, Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo was transferred to The Hague, where he is now awaiting trial for crimes against humanity committed by his army in the four-month-long standoff.

But rights groups say both sides committed abuses after Ouattara was forced to enlist the help of a rebel army to remove Gbagbo.