News24

Ivory Coast: Jonathan to visit Benin

2010-12-31 10:20

Cotonou - Nigeria's leader is due in Benin on Friday for talks with President Boni Yayi after he led a troika of African leaders to Ivory Coast to urge strongman Laurent Gbagbo to cede power, an official said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is head of the Economic Community for West African States (Ecowas) bloc that has voted to authorise military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step aside for Alassane Ouattara after November elections.

Jonathan "will pay an official visit to Benin on Friday", presidency communications advisor Didier Aplogan announced.

He will "hold talks with the Beninese president on issues of interest between the two countries and the question of the resolution of the Ivory Coast crisis", he said.

Yayi and the presidents of Sierra Leone and Cape Verde went to Abidjan on Tuesday to deliver an ultimatum to Gbagbo to cede power or face forced removal. They returned without a clear outcome.

The troika was due to return to Abidjan on Monday and have said they are still pressing for a peaceful solution.

An official in Jonathan's office confirmed a one-day trip to neighbouring Benin was planned for Friday but did not give details.