Ivory Coast needs dialogue - panel chief

2012-08-29 21:48

Abidjan - The head of Ivory Coast's post-war reconciliation panel, Charles Konan Banny, said on Wednesday the country urgently needs dialogue between President Alassane Ouattara and the opposition.

"The Ivorian nation is in danger," Banny said in an interview.

Banny, a former prime minister, heads the country's Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation (CDVR), set up in the wake of Ouattara's bloody post-election standoff with former president Laurent Gbagbo in 2010-2011, which killed some 3 000 people.

Banny called for dialogue to ease tensions since the post-election bloodshed, saying: "I am expecting the head of state, president of all Ivorians, to take the initiative in that sense."

He also called on Gbagbo's supporters, who in his words "lost the democratic game", to join in a dialogue.

Honesty, sincerity

"They must also agree to come to the table for dialogue in complete honesty, freedom and sincerity," he said.

The remarks come after a recent series of attacks on the army and security forces that have brought tensions in Ivory Coast to a level not seen since the December 2010-April 2011 crisis.

Three key Gbagbo allies have been arrested since the attacks: Laurent Akoun, the secretary general of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), former minister Alphonse Douati and Gbagbo's spokesperson Kone Katinan Justin, who was arrested in Ghana, where he fled after the collapse of Gbagbo's regime.

Akoun is due to face trial on Friday on charges of disturbing the public order.

The government has accused Gbagbo supporters of being behind the attacks, a charge the FPI denies.