AU team leaves Ivory Coast

2011-02-10 16:19

Abidjan - A team of experts from the African Union left Ivory Coast on Thursday after meeting the internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara and his rival claimant Laurent Gbagbo.

The country has been divided since Gbagbo refused to step down after presidential elections on November 28 that were won by Ouattara according to the country's election commission and the international community.

The AU team led by Ramtane Lamamra, the regional body's commissioner for peace and security, arrived on Sunday and met the two rivals, members of their parties, diplomats and representatives of civil society.

The experts will deliver a report on the visit to a panel of five African heads of state meeting on February 20 in Nouakchott prior to their own trip to Abidjan.

The panel is headed by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and includes Idriss Deby of Chad, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso.

The panel is tasked with coming up with measures to resolve the impasse in Ivory Coast by the end of February.