SA president expected back after Ivorian mediation mission

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - President Jacob Zuma is expected to return to South Africa later on Tuesday following a two-day visit to Abidjan to help resolve the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire.

A high level panel was appointed to help resolve the political crisis in the West African country after long-time president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down when his rival Alassane Ouattara was pronounced the winner of the country's presidential runoff in November 2010.

“The high level panel, which has been meeting in Mauritania, will now further engage all parties to the conflict in Abidjan, with a view of finding a solution to the crisis,” the presidency said in a statement.

The panel - representing the five regions of the continent - includes the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, South Africa and Tanzania.

“The panel is expected to conclude their work before the end of February and report back to the AU Peace and Security Council,” the statement said.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 22Feb2011

22 february 2011 09:40:50

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