Members of AU Panel on Cote d'Ivoire due Nouakchott Sunday

Nouakchott, Mauritania (PANA) - Members of the panel of African Union (AU) charged with finding a peaceful solution to the post-election crisis in Côte d'Ivoire are expected Sunday in Nouakchott.

The panel, chaired by the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, consists of Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Idriss Deby of Chad and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, is also a member.

While in Nouakchott, the panel members will consider a draft report prepared by experts of the AU's Peace and Security Committee, who travelled to Abidjan 10-13 February to meet and all stakeholders.

The panel's effort is generally perceived as a last-ditch attempt to peacefully resolve the crisis in the West African nation, following disputes over the 28 Nov, presidential runoff.

The UN-backed electoral commission said Alassane Ouattara won the election, but the Constitutional Council gave victory to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, triggering the current stalemate.

ECOWAS and the international community have recognised Ouattara as the elected President and asked Gbagbo to step down.

The 15-member regional bloc, of which Cote d'Ivoire is a member, has threatened to use force against Gbagbo if he fails to step down.
-0- PANA SAS/JSG/JEN/SEG 17Feb2011

17 february 2011 12:21:35




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