SA urges Ivory Coast's Gbagbo to retire

2010-12-08 22:42

Johannesburg - South Africa on Wednesday urged Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo to respect the wish of neighbouring African states for him to stand down and hand power to presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.

The government said in a statement that Gbagbo should "respect and abide by the declarations issued" by the African Union (AU) and the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), which said he should step aside.

"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 Ivory Coast," it added.

On Monday, former South African president Thabo Mbeki ended a mediation trip to Abidjan on behalf of the AU during which he met with both Gbagbo and Ouattara and urged them to find a peaceful solution. He said he would report back to the 53-nation continental bloc.

The November 28 run off election was supposed to end a decade of instability in the west African country but it has descended into a potentially explosive stand-off that has disrupted the economy and raised fears of major unrest.

Gbagbo unveiled his own new cabinet on Tuesday but Ouattara's prime minister Guillaume Soro said his rival government was replacing Ivorian ambassadors in key countries and was "taking measures" to gain control of public finances.

AU Chairperson Bingu wa Mutharika on Wednesday demanded Gbagbo "respect the will of the people" and step aside, following a similar declaration by Ecowas.

US State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley also repeated a call for Gbagbo to quit for "a peaceful transition".

  • Wizard1 - 2010-12-09 07:51

    This is just typically SA goverment,they urge Ivory Coast president to retire but closer to home like Zim they are too scared to open their mouths about Bob,typically ANC

  • pikie75 - 2010-12-09 07:55

    Why have they never urged dickhead Mugabe to stand down....

  • cynthiasteyn0 - 2010-12-09 08:08

    You don't hear much about the person they want to step down, but ol' Bobby can carry on with his idiotic ideas! His people are starving and SA actually look to him for advice! OMG Bob is Hilter reincarnated! The only difference is that he doesn't care who he destroys!

  • bobby g - 2010-12-09 08:30

    hahaha, was this Thabo's advice? Thabo needs to grow balls where it matters most - Zimbabwe

  • mazvitasithole - 2010-12-09 11:00

    Why not ask Robert Gabriel Mugabe to retire? This shows double standards and a hatred and utter disrespect for the Zimbabwean people. Zuma is pursuing a roadmap to "free and fair elections" for Zimbabwe when Chief of Police & many others in ZANUPF have said they will not hand over power to anyone else, so why have elctions under such conditions? What it means is: Zuma hopes Mugabe wil rig well enough to win and that will make this a success for sick is SA involvement in Zim?

      tatsss - 2010-12-09 12:16

      Taura hako Mazvi-Bob has some kind of spell on SA-wait till the Race war erupts in SA-Zim will look like heaven when it explodes in SA-you can just feel the tension in the air!!!

  • tatsss - 2010-12-09 12:25

    SA is only willing to go as far as giving Zim nationals permits but dont want to address the root cause-WHY IS SA,AU,SADC AFRAID OF BOB????You have let the citizens of Zimbabwe down and your true colors are now showing-what goes around comes around!!!

  • Wow! - 2010-12-09 12:39

    To the SA government - its is not the neighbouring states that Gbagbo needs to respect BUT the voters of his country. It is their wish that he goes - that is what democracy is. The neighbouring states have an obligation to support the will of the people and to make life thoroughly unpleasant for Mr. Gbagbo. SA and some mebers of SADC do however NOT understand that - else why Mugabe and ZANUP still there. ECOWAS is growing up whilst SADC - with the exception of probably two member countries - is infantile in this regard. They believe it is their right to decide who ultimately governs Zimbabwe and they will assist that party via lies and propoganda.

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