AU high-level panel starts work on Ivorian crisis

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union high-level panel on Cote d'Ivoire is not wasting any time in swinging into action to help end the post-electoral stalemate in the West African nation, where is a double claim to its presidency.

At the end of the 16th ordinary session of the AU Assembly here late Monday, AU Commission (AUC) Chairperson Jean Ping announced that the panel would travel to Abidjan to meet with opposing parties.

The panel is chaired by Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore and comprises Presidents Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, Idris Debby of Chad, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania as well as the AUC chairperson and the president of the
Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

A one-month deadline has been set for the panel to conclude its work.

The PSC established the panel at its 259th meeting held held here on 28 January and it convened its first meeting Monday to determine its programme of work.

According to a statement issued later by the PSC, the panel has decided to constitute, within three days, a team of experts that will meet in Addis Ababa immediately to commence the preparatory work before proceeding to Côte d’Ivoire.

The team of experts will submit its findings to the members of the high‐level panel at a meeting to be held in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Thereafter, the panel will travel to Côte d’Ivoire to meet with the parties and submit to them proposals for a way out of the crisis.

In the meantime, the panel has reiterated the AU’s call to all the Ivorian parties to exercise maximum restraint, work towards promoting calm and extend full cooperation to the panel in order to facilitate a speedy resolution of the crisis facing their country.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 1Feb2011

01 february 2011 09:17:44

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