Wade urges Gbagbo to accept dialogue with mutineers

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Current ECOWAS chair Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is urging President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire to engage in dialogue with disgruntled soldiers who launched a mutiny on 19 September and who now have control of three major towns in the north of the country.
In an address at the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, Wade advised caution in suspecting outside countries' involvement in the mutiny.
"Today, when I saw Presidents Gbagbo and (Burkinabe President Blaise) Compaore hug each other, I understood that the problem was elsewhere," Wade observed, and said sufficient evidence is necessary to prove all the allegations.
"We just demand evidence for all the allegations being spread because if a country was proven to have backed unrest in another country, I would be the first one to denounce it," Wade said.
"In the absence of evidence, we will still entertain the same trust that we have so far shown one another," he added.
Some local Ivorian media close to the ruling Ivorian Peoples Front (FPI) have accused certain neighbouring countries, including Burkina Faso, of backing the insurgents, whom officials have described as mercenaries determined to overthrow Gbagbo's regime.
Gbagbo had all along favoured a military solution to the crisis.

30 september 2002 09:24:00

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