Gbagbo Seeks Diplomatic Solution To Ivory Coast Crisis

(VANGUARD)

Hopes of a diplomatic resolution to the lingering political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire appeared on the horizon last week when recalcitrant Laurent Gbagbo hinted of leaving office without preconditions.

Reports from Abidjan said Gbagbo has agreed to negotiate a “peaceful end” to the country’s political crisis without any preconditions. This is coming against the backdrop of possible multinational troop’s intervention to remove him from power, after he refused to accept that he lost in the country’s second ballot of the presidential election on November 28, 2010.

The 15-nation ECOWAS bloc, in a statement issued last week, said Gbagbo’s forces will lift a blockade placed around the Abidjan hotel where Alassane Ouattara, and his supporters have been holed up for weeks. ECOWAS leaders have threatened to remove Gbagbo by force if he does not leave office.

Before Gbagbo’s change of heart, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan had said the situation was deadlocked and would take time to resolve. But, the internationally-acknowledged winner of the election, Ouattara, has continued to insist that Gbagbo wants to buy time by opting for a diplomatic solution instead of accepting defeat and vacating the office.
ALJAZEERA