Zimbabwe has been selected to be one of the 6 members of the high level panel to deal with the electoral crisis in Cote d’Ivoire following a resolution by the Peace and Security Council meeting last Friday that called for the expansion of the negotiating framework.
The African Union 15 member Peace and Security Council said on Friday it would set a panel of Heads of States and Governments to solve the leadership crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, which would come up with a legally binding settlement within one month.The panel includes Presidents Robert Mugabe, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS, SADC Chairman and Namibian President, Hifikepunye Pohamba and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, Chairman of the InterGovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
The others are Chadian President, Idriss Deby, the current Chairman of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and President of Mauritania, Mohamed Abdel, who is the Chairman of the Peace and Security Council.
AU mediator, Mr Raila Odinga was fired by his appointer, the Chairman of the AU Commission, Dr Jean Ping, for breaching all protocol by unprocedurally announcing about the electoral crisis in the worldâ€™s largest cocoa producer before the Peace and Security Council meeting.
Dr Ping told a news conference on Friday night after 6 hours of deliberations by various African Heads of State meeting in the Peace and Security Council of the AU decided that the Cote d’Ivoire crisis could not be mediated by one person but by a battery of leaders, who will give various perspectives towards ending the Ivorian Crisis.
The Technical Advisor in the Communication Office of the Cote dâ€™Ivoire incumbent president, Mr Luarent Bgabgo, Mr Richard Assamoa welcomed the appointment of the panel to deal with the crisis in his country, saying the problem in his country requires an African solution that can only be dealt with without any interference by the international community especially France, the former coloniser as has been the case.
The worldâ€™s top cocoa grower has been paralysed by a political stand-off since the elections held in November last year.
In the November election, Mr Allassane Quatara was declared winner by the electoral commission of that country but the vote was overturned by the constitutional court after it discovered some irregularities in vote counting in 7 districts.
As a result, incumbent president, Mr Laurent Gbagbo was then declared winner.