UN chief urges Ouattara to form unity govt in Cote d'Ivoire

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Sunday unveiled a five-point plan to help resolve the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, but stressed that president-elect Alassane Ouattara, should form a unity government.

Addressing the 16th Ordinary session of the AU Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ban said incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo lost the polls in the West African nation and should cede power to Ouattara for the sake of peace.

His five-point plan emphasizes international aid to a government led by Ouattara to help it deal with the economic problems facing it, the removal of the blockade on the operation of the UN troops and respect for human rights in Cote d’Ivoire.

He told African leaders that the actions taken by the UN and the African Union (AU) on Cote d’Ivoire would have a bearing on the image of both organizations.

“The action we take will have an impact not only on the credibility of our organizations, but also on other democratic transitions and elections in divided societies,” Ban warned.

In his speech, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, warned that Africa’s failure to resolve the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, would be a “tragedy” for the whole world.

“Our destinies are interlinked, we share the same values,” he said.

Sarkozy voiced the French backing for calls for Gbagbo to relinquish power in respect of the election results. “The French supports the AU position on Cote d’Ivoire,” he said.

President Sarkozy said the “freely expressed will of the people should not be treated with scorn.”

African leaders, gathered here for a shortened Summit of two days, are expected to work out a desired direction that the mediation efforts in Cote d’Ivoire should take over the next one month.

The AU has announced the formation of a panel of five African leaders to work out a solution to the crisis. The Panel’s full composition would include AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping.

Ping has ruled out the possibility of using force to oust Gbagbo from power, saying it would be “cowardly to do so.”

Ping said Saturday no African nation had offered its army to undertake the mission to forcefully oust Gbagbo.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 30Jan2011

30 january 2011 13:24:45

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