Mediators in fresh bid to bridge gaps | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 17, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 17, 2011

Ivory Coast Crisis

Mediators in fresh bid to bridge gaps

The African Union's mediator in Ivory Coast's deadly leadership standoff is to return to Abidjan this week for his latest bid to bridge the yawning gap between two increasingly entrenched presidents.
AU mediator and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga flew to Abuja yesterday to meet the head of west African regional bloc ECOWAS, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, after which he will head to crisis-stricken Abijdan.
The AU and 15-member Economic Community of West African States have struggled to mediate between Ivory Coast's embattled strongman Laurent Gbagbo and the man the world says won a November 28 presidential runoff.
Gbagbo rival Alassane Ouattara has for weeks been holed up in an Abidjan hotel resort, with United Nations peacekeepers and northern ex-rebels protecting his camp from the army which remains loyal to the incumbent.
A cascade of African leaders have shuttled between the two men sworn in as president in recent weeks, with ECOWAS threatening military action as a last resort if Gbagbo refuses to hand over power.
"We want dialogue to begin between the Ouattara camp and president Gbagbo," the incumbent's spokesman Ahoua Don Mello told AFP yesterday.

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