Mbeki fails to resolve Ivory Coast crisis

South African mediator made a plea for a peaceful solution to presidential standoff

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has ended his mediation mission to Cote d’Ivoire without a settlement between Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo, the two leaders who have both claimed victory in the country’s November 28 presidential election. Mbeki had allotted two days to talks aimed at ending the power struggle. But yesterday, he said he would be leaving with only an aim to file a report to the African Union and a plea for a peaceful solution in the country. “The African Union is very keen that peace can be sustained and every effort should be made to ensure this transition to democracy succeeds,” he said. “Cote d’Ivoire needs peace and needs democracy … We indeed hope that the leadership of this country will do all that it can to ensure peace is maintained.” The recent election was an effort to reunite the country after the 2002-03 civil war, but that failed when the Constitutional Council, run by a staunch ally of Gbagbo, scrapped hundreds of thousands of votes from Ouattara strongholds. Provisional results from the Election Commission gave Ouattara a win but Gbagbo refused to concede. Both men took separate presidential oaths and set up rival administrations. At least 10 people have been killed in clashes between supporters of the rival factions over the last two weeks.

Al Jazeera

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