/ 7 December 2010

Mbeki concludes emergency mission

Mbeki Concludes Emergency Mission

Former president Thabo Mbeki will on Tuesday hand a preliminary report on his emergency mission to Côte d’Ivoire to the chairman of the African Union Commission, his spokesman said.

“Mbeki was requested by AU chairman Jean Ping to travel to Côte d’Ivoire to facilitate rapid and peaceful conclusions of the electoral process and to find a way out of the crisis,” Mukoni Ratshitanga said in a statement.

This was on the basis of AU decisions and consultations with concerned groups. While there, Mbeki met with several parties, including both candidates of the November 28 presidential elections.

He further met the special representative of the United Nations secretary-general for Côte d’Ivoire Choi Young-Jin, Côte d’Ivoire’s constitutional council and its chairperson Paul Yao N’Dre, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) president Youssouf Bakayoko, and other IEC members.

“Mr Mbeki noted, with concern, the deep divisions amongst the Ivorian political leadership and society and the implications that the divisions pose for peace and stability of the country, the region and the Africa as a whole, both in the immediate and long term.”

Speaking shortly before he departed Côte d’Ivoire, Mbeki called for restraint and emphasised the need for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

“The African Union is very keen that peace in Côte d’Ivoire should be sustained and that every effort should be made to ensure that the transition to democracy succeeds,” he said.

“The AU is saying that like all our countries on our continent, Côte d’Ivoire needs peace and democracy and that both are mutually dependent.”

In considering the report, the AU would have to ask itself what it could do to help Côte d’Ivoire to achieve peace and stability. — Sapa