Ivory Coast: Banks reopen after 10-week shutdown


People queue outside a bank in Abidjan, 28 April, 2011 Ivory Coast once enjoyed the highest living standards in West Africa
Thousands of Ivorians have queued to withdraw money and receive delayed salaries as Ivory Coast's banks reopen after a 10-week shutdown.
The closure of banks followed ex-President Laurent Gbagbo's attempt to stay in power after disputed elections.
The reopening of the banking system is a step towards restarting the economy of the world's biggest cocoa producer.
New President Alassane Ouattara's government has promised two months-worth of public sector salaries.
Ivorians were given little warning when the banks closed in February, leaving thousands struggling to survive without salaries, pensions and savings.
One client queuing outside a bank in the main city, Abidjan, said he had been waiting since early morning to withdraw enough money to feed his household.
"I'll take care of my family who have suffered for at least two months without much to eat. I'll take care of the children and their return to school," he said.Continued

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