AU in search of consensus on Ivorian crisis

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU), on the eve of the opening of its 16th summit Saturday, went in search of consensual position on the Ivorian post-electoral conflict.

The closed-door meeting held by the Peace and Security Council (CPS) of AU, which Friday followed the presentation of the report on the Ivorian crisis made by Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré, could not find a common position.

“By lack of consensus at the CPS meeting, it was agreed to set up a high-level panel, which proposals will be directly transmitted to the summit of heads of state. The panel has the mandate to propose all options," said a delegate who attended the CPS meeting.

According to him, several African countries expressed reticence about the military option envisaged by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take Laurent Gbagbo out of power in favour of Alassane Ouattara, recognized widely by the international community as Ivorian president-elect.

South Africa and Uganda have distanced themselves from the military option as common means to solve the Ivorian political crisis.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has suggested the use of other means than force to oust Gbagbo from office.

"The problem for AU is that the organization cannot accept that a man who loses elections refuses to step down. The logics of the accomplished fact would create serious precedent on the continent, especially in this crucial electoral year," an official attending the 16th AU summit said.

The Ivorian issue will have important place on the agenda of the closed-door meetings at the 16th summit of AU heads of states, with the topic “Shared values for unity and African regional integration”.
-0- PANA SEI/AAS/SOC/MSA/BOS 29Jan2011

29 january 2011 14:17:18




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