Rawlings calls for “restraint and maturity” in Cote d'Ivoire

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – Ghana's former President Jerry John Rawlings on Monday called for“restraint and maturity” from political Ivorian leaders and an end to the creeping violence that threatens the peace and stability of the country.

He also urged the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and rivals in the Ivorian power struggle to strongly consider the recommendations of AU envoy, Thabo Mbeki, following his recent mediation meetings in the troubled West African state.

“Thabo Mbeki is seen as a neutral arbiter in the crisis and his report should be taken seriously and efforts made at quickly working to resolve the impasse,” he said in a statement issued in Accra.

“The reported loss of lives following street protests and alleged abduction and execution of civilians must not be allowed to fester into a full-scale conflict,” Rawlings added.

He urged the AU and ECOWAS to help calm tensions in Cote d'Ivoire and seek lasting peace and stability in the country by taking urgent steps to implement the Thabo Mbeki report. He did not elaborate on the contents of the Mbeki report.

Cote d'Ivoire was thrown into a crisis after the 28 November presidential run-off in which the two candidates, opposition leader Alassane Ouattara and incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, have claimed victory and named rival governments.

The Independent Electoral Commission declared Ouattara the winner but this was quashed by the Constitutional Council, which said it disqualified hundreds of thousands of votes from Ouattara's northern stronghold and declared Gbagbo the victor.

The international community has recognised Ouattara as the winner of the poll and asked Gbagbo to hand over power. ECOWAS and the European Union are among regional bodies that have placed sanctions on Cote d'Ivoire and Gbagbo.

Tens of people are reported to have been killed country, which went through a full-scale civil war in 2002.
-0- PANA MA 20Dec2010

20 december 2010 22:07:38




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