Ivorian crisis: AU Panel meets in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) High Level Panel, mandated to seek a solution to the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire within a month, Wednesday opened its meeting at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The presidents of South Africa, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad and officials from ECOWAS and the two contesting sides in Cote d'Ivoire arrived in Addis Ababa for the two-day meeting, which kicked off late afternoon behind closed doors.

The panel was created five weeks ago during the AU Summit and its experts spent February investigating the crisis with a view to coming up with ways to bring incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and his challenger Alassane Ouatar to a deal.    

Reports indicated that having agreed on the resolution of the crisis, the panel invited Gbagbo and Ouattara to the meeting to present their decision to the disputing sides.

Neither of the duo came to the meeting for fear that the other may block them from returning, sources said.
On 10 March, presidential Peace and Security Council (PSC) meeting will discuss the situations in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya and the recommendation of the panel would be announced.

Libya, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Chad, Burundi, Benin, Namibia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Core d'Ivoire were elected to membership of the PSC at the last AU Summit.

Leaders of Mauritania, Chad, Tanzania, South Africa, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping; the Chairperson of ECOWAS as member of the panel and Burkina Faso, as the facilitator on the Ivorian situation, are attending the meeting.
-0- PANA MI/BOS 9March2011

09 march 2011 19:34:35

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