Drogba part of new I Coast commission

2011-09-05 21:33

Abidjan-The Ivory Coast government announced on Monday the formation of a truth and reconciliation panel including footballer Didier Drogba, to probe post-election violence which left over 3 000 dead.

President Alassane Ouattara signed a decree nominating members of the "Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission", said government spokesman Bruno Kone following a cabinet meeting.

Former Ivorian prime minister Charles Konan Banny will preside over the new body which, it is hoped, will allow the violence-ravaged country "to move as swiftly as possible towards normalisation... and the reconstruction of the social fabric," Kone added.

The truth and reconciliation commission, with evident echoes of the body which helped South Africa emerge from the trauma of apartheid, will have 11 members including international footballer Didier Drogba, who currently plays for the English Premier League side Chelsea and will represent the Ivorian diaspora.

Religious and regional leaders are also included in the commission which was first announced by Ouattara in May.

The political crisis began with incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refusing to step down as president after official results showed a victory for his opponent Alassane Ouattara in a presidential election last November.

At least 3 000 people are estimated to have been killed in violence that ended last April with the arrest of Gbagbo by forces supporting the new president.

He and his wife Simone, in detention in the north of the country, were last month charged with economic crimes.