AU mediator briefs Ghana President on Ivorian crisis

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - African Union (AU) mediator and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga Wednesday
briefed Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills in Accra on the progress of his mediation efforts, and sought his
advice on the way forward to end the crisis.
    
Before the discussion went into a closed door session, President Mills said the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire was a matter
of concern to Ghana as a neighbour and a member of the AU.

He said Ghana stood by the ECOWAS' initiative to resolve the Ivorian crisis and wished the mediation team well in
its efforts.
    
Mr Odinga was on his way from Abidjan after another mediation trip, during which he met with incumbent President
Laurent Gbagbo and the man widely believed to have won the 28 Nov. presidential rerun, Alassane Ouattara.
.
Meanwhile, a statement released by Mr Odinga on Wednesday said there was no breakthrough during extensive discussions
he had with the two men laying claim to the Ivorian presidency.
    
Mr Odinga said the principal goal of his mission was to convince Mr Gbagbo to accept that he needed to put his presidency
on the agenda of the discussions, in addition to lifting the blockade of the Golf Hotel where Ouattara is holed up.
    
The promise from Mr Gbagbo to lift the blockade by 18 January was broken for the second time in two weeks.
    
According to Mr Odinga, he had indicated to Mr Ouattara that he would need to appoint a number of Mr Gbagbo’s allies to
any cabinet he would form as President, so that the country’s deep divisions would be healed.
    
“The winner takes all mentality has no place in the new Africa of inclusion and unity we are trying to build,” Mr Odinga said.
    
He added that he also indicated to Mr Ouattara that in the event of a speedy and peaceful resolution of the crisis, he should provide Mr
Gbagbo an iron clad assurance about his freedom to choose with dignity and security his future options.

These options include his continuation in Ivorian politics or settling in a country of his choice.
    
According to Mr Odinga, Mr Ouattara confirmed that Mr Gbabgo’s allies would have 25 per cent of cabinet positions.
    
Mr Odinga said Ouattara still remained hopeful that a peaceful resolution was possible.
    
“No one in Cote d’Ivoire should contemplate the alternative path to resolving this electoral impasse which would require economic and
financial sanctions and even possibly the use of force that both the African Union and ECOWAS have set as their last resort.
    
“To avoid going on that route, I appeal to all African leaders to continue to speak with one voice in supporting the principled positions that their
two organisations have adopted,” Mr Odinga said in the statement.
-0- PANA MA/SEG 19Jan2011
    

19 january 2011 20:34:34




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