AU mediator heads to Ivory Coast

2011-01-17 11:14
Lagos - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the African Union mediator for Ivory Coast, is to travel to Abidjan on Monday after meeting the Nigerian president on the crisis, his spokesperson said.

"He is going to Abidjan today in the afternoon," Odinga spokesperson Dennis Onyango told AFP.

Odinga would meet both Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo as well as his internationally recognised rival Alassane Ouattara in Ivory Coast, he said. The president of the Ecowas commission, James Victor Gbeho, was to accompany him.

"His return to Nigeria after the Abidjan mission will depend on what he meets on the ground over there," Onyango said. "So, it can be today, it can be another time."

Speaking in Abidjan, an African diplomat confirmed Odinga's visit.

"He's arriving today" in Abidjan where he will spend "a few days", the source told AFP.

The Kenyan prime minister met Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan late on Sunday ahead of the mission, though details of their talks were not immediately clear.

Jonathan is the current chairperson of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), which has threatened the use of force if Gbagbo does not step down in favour of Ouattara.

Odinga's first trip to Abidjan since being appointed as mediator ended on January 05 with little tangible progress after Gbagbo failed to make good on promises that mediators said he made.

Read more on:    au  |  ecowas  |  alassane ouattara  |  raila odinga  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
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