Talks on Cote d'Ivoire not yet over, says AUBy ARGAW ASHINE in Addis Ababa | Thursday, January 20 2011 at 20:20
The Africa Union is hoping for a breakthrough on the Cote d’Ivoire crisis during its upcoming summit to be attended by United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is also expected to attend the summit.
According to AU sources, Mr Ban is scheduled to sit with Africa's influential leaders to deliberate on Cote d’Ivoire and other major crises in Africa.
On Thursday evening, AU Peace and Security Council Commissioner Ramate Lamamran told reporters in Addis Ababa, the peaceful efforts to unlock the Cote d’Ivoire crisis were on course and a solution would soon be found.
Mr Lamamaran also hinted that the military option was already on the table, but AU prefers to exhaust all peaceful means to end the crisis.
Responding to the role of AU mediator Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Mr Lamamran said AU summit will discuss his the next role.
The camp of Cote d’Ivoire's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo has asked AU to replace Mr Odinga as a mediator after the Kenyan PM's efforts failed this week.
According to the council, Mr Odinga will prepare a report to be presented to the summit and it is up to the summit to decide his next role in Cote d’Ivoire mediation.
“We felt that we should take the advantage of Mr Odinga's availability for this mission, and that is why we asked him to mediate,” Mr Lamamran explained.
AU recognises and appreciates the role of Mr Odinga has played in his two-round mission to Cote d’Ivoire, but if the parties want to have another mediator, AU will assess its mediation effort.
“This is not Mr Odinga’s full time job and we know he is not a professional mediator, and he is a Prime Minister of his country. He does not intend to work permanently,” Mr Lamamran said.
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