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Ivorian feuding factions urged to soften hard line position

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Laurent Gbagbo

An appeal has been made to the feuding Ivorian political leaders to soften their hard line positions and allow for peaceful a resolution of the country’s poll dispute.

The Centre for Peace Building, a Human Rights and Peace Advocacy Organization, said it was important for the key actors to put the national interest ahead of selfish political ambition.

It said “it should not be difficult for them to accept to work towards a power sharing deal.”

Cote d’ Ivoire is mired in confusion and tension following the disputed presidential election.

President Laurent Gbagbo and the man internationally recognized as winner of the poll, Alassane Ouattara, have both claimed the presidency.

The Centre said “a power sharing Government presents an opportunity through which the people could build consensus in all matters of national interest and diffuse the mounting tribal and religious tension, threatening the stability of the country.”

Mr Emmanuel Senyo, Country Director of the Centre, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), after its meeting in Kumasi, warned that the crisis could trigger genocide if the right mediation tactics are not employed.

He criticized the international community for its handling of the Ivorian situation and said the threat of use of force to remove President Gbagbo is not in the interest of the nation.

He suggested to the sub-regional body, ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) to help the two rival Presidents to find common ground and agree to an all-inclusive government.

Mr Senyo also called for the setting up of an AU International Electoral Commission (IEC), which should be mandated to conduct elections in conflict zones on the continent.

He observed that many African countries were becoming more prone to election-related disturbances and that the IEC could help to prevent these.

Source: GNA

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