Pres Mugabe elected to Cote d'Ivoire mediation panel
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 4:08 pm
PRESIDENT Mugabe has been elected to the High-Level Panel set up by the African Union Peace and Security Council to mediate in the political crisis in Cote dIvoire.
The PSC met at Presidential level last Friday to deliberate on the political crisis in the West African country and resolved to appoint a panel of five leaders to investigate and come up with recommendations to resolve the prob¬lem within a month.
The panels recommendations will be subject to endorsement by the 15-member Peace and Security Council after which all parties in the dispute are expected to abide by the decision reached.
The Peace and Security Council is the only organ with the mandate to enforce African Union decisions.
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The High-Level Panel was formed after the AU fired Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga as mediator after his public altercation with the bodys Commission chair, Dr Jean Ping on Friday.
Odinga addressed a Press conference on his findings before the matter had even been discussed by the Peace and Security Council Summit.
There was shouting, pushing and shoving when Dr Ping summoned AU security officials to stop Odingas Press conference.
Prior to that public spat, Odinga had been rejected by Ivorian President, Mr Laurent Gbabgo, over his bias towards presidential challenger, former Ivorian premier Mr Allasane Ouattara.
President Mugabe will join Presidents Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia and Sadc chairman), Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria and Ecowas chairman), Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (Mauritania and PSC chairman), Idriss Deby (Chad and chairman of the Economic Community of Central African States) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (chairman of the Inter- Governmental Authority for Development).
In an interview with Zimbabwean journalists here, presidential spokesman and technical advisor in the Communication Office of the Ivorian President, Mr Richard Assamoa, welcomed the establishment of the panel saying it was what Mr Gbabgo had always asked for as he had nothing to hide.