Compaore leads AU panel on Cote d'Ivoire

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has appointed Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to chair its High-Level Panel on Cote d’Ivoire, officials said here Monday.

Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Idris Derby of Chad, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz of Mauritania and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigerian are also on the panel.

AU Commission Chairperson’s Spokesman, Nourreddine Mezni, told PANA here that the respective leaders were nominated by their various regional economic blocs.

The decision to appoint the panel to help resolve Cote d'Ivoire's post-election crisis was taken  during a meeting of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 28 January at the Presidential level to discuss the crisis.

The Mauritanian President is chairing the PSC this month.

Compaore’s panel will work out a binding solution to the presidential power-struggle in the cocoa-rich West African nation within a month.

Its mandate is to ensure that Alassane Ouattara, the internationally-recognized winner of the country’s 28 November presidential runoff, is given the right to govern the West African nation.

The PSC has called for the immediate lifting of the blockade on the hotel in Abidjan in which Ouattara has been holed up since the result of the runoff was announced.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called on the international community to “deliver its part of the bargain” in Cote d’Ivoire, saying the Ivorian voters cast their ballots in numbers to elect their future leader.

“We are going to deliver our part of the bargain and make the winner, winner. It would be a great injustice to the Ivorians to do the contrary,” Ban told journalists at a news conference on the sidelines of the AU Summit Sunday.

According to the UN, some 30,000 Ivorians have fled the country while 17,000 are internally-displaced in the wake of the crisis.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 31Jan2011

31 january 2011 12:00:07

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