ECOWAS envoys begin anti-Gbagbo campaign in Abidjan

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - ECOWAS envoys -- Presidents Boni Yayi of Benin, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde -- mandated by the regional body to begin moves to ease Laurent Gbagbo out of office in Cote d'Ivoire, Tuesday landed in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, PANA reported here.

President Koroma was the first to set foot on the Ivorian soil at 9: 20am (local time). He was welcomed by Gbagbo's Prime Minister, Aké Ngbo, and the Chairman of the Economic and Social Council, Laurent Dona Fologo.

The Benin leader, Boni, joined him 40 minutes later while Pires, joined them in an Abidjan hotel, where all of them met with the special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, J Y Choi, the representatives of the African Union (AU) and those of ECOWAS.

They later moved to the Presidential Palace at the Plateau for a meeting with Gbagbo. No statements were made to the press after the meetings.

The three leaders are also scheduled to meet president-elect Alasanne Ouattara.

After their extraordinary summit last Friday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, ECOWAS leaders designated the three heads of State to take the decision of the West African institution to the outgoing President Gbagbo, urging him to relinquish power to Ouattara.

ECOWAS has also threatened to use force to remove Gbagbo.
-0- PANA GB/SSB/SMD/VAO 28Dec2010

28 december 2010 18:47:31

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