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Ouattara sworn in as Ivory Coast president

By the CNN Wire Staff
Alassane Ouattara is sworn in as Ivory Coast's president at the presidential palace in Abidjan.
Alassane Ouattara is sworn in as Ivory Coast's president at the presidential palace in Abidjan.
  • Alassane Ouattara has been sworn in as president of Ivory Coast
  • The country experienced a lengthy post-election crisis that claimed hundreds of lives
  • An international delegation visited Ivory Coast this week to encourage reconciliation

(CNN) -- Alassane Ouattara was sworn in Friday as president of Ivory Coast, ending a months-long political standoff.

"It is the beginning of a new era of reconciliation for all the sons and daughters of our dear Ivory Coast," Ouattara said after taking the oath.

Ouattara was sworn in by Paul Yao Ndre, the head of the country's Constitutional Council. A number of members of the government, diplomats, representatives of the armed forces, and civil society leaders, among others, were also present during the ceremony in Abidjan.

The council recently declared Ouattara the winner of the hotly disputed presidential election, ending a lengthy post-electoral crisis that claimed hundreds of lives and paralyzed the country's economy.

Ouattara follows President Laurent Gbagbo, whose unwillingness to hand over power after the election resulted in a wave of violence.

A military operation was launched Monday by pro-Ouattara forces to crush the last pocket of resistance remaining after pro-Gbagbo militias turned down a call from Ouattara to disarm or face force.

The new violence erupted after a delegation of mediators led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan completed a two-day visit to Ivory Coast intended to encourage reconciliation and healing. Annan was joined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Gbagbo remains under house arrest in the country's north.

Journalist Eric Agnero contributed to this report