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06.11.2004 General News

AU/ECOWAS to address Cote d'Ivoire's political issue

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Accra, Nov. 6, GNA - The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are to set up a high-powered commission to find solution to the political issue in Cote d' Ivoire. This is contained in a statement issued at the end of a consultative meeting held in the Nigerian city of Ota, by the AU Chairman, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; Chairman of the AU Commission, Professor Alpha Konare and Nana Akufo Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who stood in for President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman of the Economic Community of West Africa States.

At the meeting, which was necessitated by the resumption of armed hostilities in Cote d'Ivoire, President Obasanjo expressed his deep concern at the renewed fighting in that country, particularly air bombardment by Government forces on various locations in the northern part of the country.

The meeting pointed out that "the escalation clearly contradicts the process of national reconciliation as expressed in the Linas Marcousis and Accra agreements."

Whilst urging the parties in the Ivorien crisis to immediately halt all hostilities, the AU and ECOWAS called on "the United Nations to change the mandate as to the rules of engagement of its Force in Cote d'Ivoire, to enable it prevent further violence".

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