Ivory Coast mediation efforts

Situation in Ivory Coast shows little sign of improvement

Agenzia Fides (the official News Agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican) reported that the mediation efforts in Ivory Coast have failed.

“Time is up”, said the Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, mediator for the African Union in the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, in an announcement on 19 January about the failed attempt to come to an agreement between the outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo and President-elect Alassane Ouattara. “The necessary twist is missing. I’m sorry, but it has not materialized, despite the prolonged discussions that I had, both with Mr Gbagbo and the President-elect, Ouattara,” said Odinga.

“The Prime Minister of Kenya is deeply disappointed by the fact that Gbagbo has not honoured his promise to lift the siege at the hotel where Ouattara is staying,” Fides was told by a source from the local Church.
“With the end of Odinga’s mediation, certainly opens up some disquieting scenarios. The military option by ECOWAS cannot be ruled out,” confirmed our source. The Chiefs of the armies of the Countries in the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) met on 18 January in Bamako, capital of Mali, to discuss a possible military intervention in Côte d’Ivoire to depose Gbagbo and install Ouattara to power. According to Nigerian General Oluseyi Petinrin, “each Country of ECOWAS has made their troops available” for an eventual military operation in Côte d’Ivoire. The African troops will enter from the north of Côte d’Ivoire, controlled by the “New Forces”, the rebels linked to Ouattara, because the ports and the airports in the south are controlled by the regular army which has remained loyal to Gbagbo.
“We hope that the Lord will spare us from violence, also because one cannot lead a Country with a heritage of a bloodbath,” stated the Fides source, adding: “there is an attempt on the part of a group known as ‘mediators of the Country’, made up of 7-8 people, to try again to find a way to come out of the crisis peacefully. This is a separate group from that of the tribal leaders, who were proposed as mediators a few days ago” (see Fides 14/1/2011).

Read here Agenzia Fides report on the possibility of military intervention.