News24

SA working for peace in Ivory Coast

2010-12-09 22:19

Cape Town - South Africa will continue to work with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to ensure the situation in Ivory Coast does not lead to become more violent, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

Briefing the media following Cabinet's last regular meeting of the year, he said the meeting expressed concern about the recent events in Ivory Coast.

These posed a threat to the peace and stability in the region, he said.

"Cabinet is hopeful that an amicable solution that reflects the will of the people would be found sooner than later. South Africa will continue to work with the African Union and Ecowas to ensure that the situation does not lead to violent conflict."

Earlier, the government urged incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo to respect and abide by declarations regional bodies had issued regarding the second round of elections in Ivory Coast.

"The South African government calls for restraint and further urges the Ivorian leaders to promote national reconciliation and unity as the uppermost priority during this period in Cte d’Ivoire," the international relations and co-operation department said in a statement.

Gbagbo has refused to accept the official results of the November 28 presidential run-off election.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council backed opposition leader Alassane Ouattara as winner of the country's bitterly disputed presidential election. Both men had themselves sworn in at the weekend.

Ouattara also received the backing of, among others, Ecowas, the AU, the European Union, the United States and Kenya.