Abidjan: Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara moved to bolster his authority in the deeply divided country on Monday with a probe into members of his ousted rival's regime for ‘blood crimes’.

The former IMF official and long-time opposition figure took charge on April 11 of the world's top cocoa grower when his forces stormed the presidential palace in Abidjan and seized defiant strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

Ouattara's government ordered civil servants to resume work from on Monday, exactly a week after Gbagbo's dramatic arrest.

And Justice Minister Jeannot Ahoussou said he would ask prosecutors to investigate members of Gbagbo's regime suspected of various crimes, adding the focus would be on ‘blood crimes’, weapons purchases or embezzlement.

Targets could be members of the previous government but also journalists of state radio RTI, which was viewed as a powerful propaganda mouthpiece for the regime.

Abidjan, the west African country's main city, meanwhile slowly returned to normal after 10 days of fighting that finally led to Gbagbo's ouster.

Gbagbo, who spent a decade in power, had refused to accept defeat in November's presidential vote, provoking a violent stand-off even though UN observers and the bulk of the international community had recognised Ouattara's victory.

The ex-president is under house arrest in the north of the country while former rebel fighters loyal to Ouattara patrol Abidjan along with UN peacekeepers and a force from former colonial master France.

Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front party on Saturday said it had noted the order for the state machinery to start functioning again, and urged an "end to the war" and the ‘increase in violence’.

The country's largest student union also called on its members to disarm and heed Ouattara's reconciliation call

(Agencies).