Essy to join ECOWAS peace negotiators in Cote d'Ivoire

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Amara Essy, the Interim President of the African Union (AU) Commission, will Friday join a 22-member ECOWAS team in Bouake, on negotiations to end the Ivorian uprising, the ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas said in Abidjan Thursday.
The ECOWAS delegation, made up of officials from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and Niger, left Abidjan Thursday aboard two French helicopters for Bouake, where they are to meet with Ivorian rebels, who staged a mutiny 19 September against President Laurent Gbagbo's government.
According to Chambas, Essy had "shown his intention to actively contribute to finding a solution to the Ivorian crisis," even before appointing a representative who will sit alongside the ECOWAS contact group.
On Tuesday, Chambas made the first telephone contact from Ghana with a soldier, who introduced himself as the Commander-in-Chief of the mutineers in Bouake.
This was after the ECOWAS team met Monday with Gbagbo, who reportedly accepted in principle, a cease-fire with the mutineers.
The trip by the ECOWAS delegation followed Sunday's emergency Summit by leaders of the sub-regional group in Accra, Ghana.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the uprising, including Ivorian Interior Minister Emile Boga Doudou and former junta leader General Robert Guei.

03 october 2002 18:13:00




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