Gbagbo envoy spells out mission to Kenya

January 26, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – A delegation from Ivory Coast is in the country to present information on the political crisis there, which they want Kenya to communicate at the upcoming African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa.

Led by President Gbagbo\’s special advisor Ateby Williams, they said facts on the deadlock facing the West African country had been misrepresented and there was need to give the AU the correct position.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Williams emphasised that they were not in the country to complain about Prime Minister Raila Odinga\’s deployment as the AU chief mediator in the crisis.

"It is not up to us to decide whether Prime Minister Raila Odinga should continue the mediation process or not because he has been sent by the African Union and they are the ones to decide. On the contrary, we would like to commend him for the work he did." he said in an interview with Capital News.

"But the idea here is also to revisit the purpose of his mission as mediator and see how he can avoid discontenting part of the nation. His mediation should be peaceful and equity based," he added.

Mr Williams said Ivory Coast was now looking for support from countries, organisation and all those who can play a role to ensure that peace was restored.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the envoys were not in Kenya at his behest, adding that he had already compiled a report on the stalemate and submitted it to the AU headquarters.

"If they need me to go and present it personally they will inform me and then I will go and present at the summit," he said.

Mr Gbagbo\’s advisor said a vote recount would be the best solution to the crisis that was triggered by the incumbent\’s refusal to hand over the presidency to his opponent Alassane Ouattara.

He added that they were opposed to military intervention to end the deadlock, since Mr Gbagbo was "willing to step down if he lost in the recount."

"He is a man, he will agree to it," Mr Williams said.

"African countries must resolutely take the opposite position against this intention of a military solution because any fire or gunshot is likely to take the life of a citizen and today in Africa this is not what we would like," he added.

Mr Williams accused France of inciting the violence due to a misunderstanding with Mr Gbagbo\’s government which also led to the attempted coup in 2002.

"They lied that a disarmament process had been done to set ground for a clear and fair election. They even went as far as burning publicly the weapons but from the beginning of the elections to the end we have had a lot of violence," he told Capital News.

"Where have those weapons being used now been? That is evidence that there was no disarmament, it was just a game they played," he added.

The delegation has planned to meet officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Information and a Network of Human Rights NGO\’s saying serious human rights violations had been committed during the crisis.

They are scheduled to leave the country on Friday.

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