Zuma impartial in Ivory Coast deadlock

2011-02-02 07:41

Johannesburg - South African president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday said South Africa remained a neutral mediator in Ivory Coast's political deadlock, SABC radio news reported.

Zuma denied that South Africa was favouring Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo in that country's political crisis.

"We should speak in one voice as the African Union (AU) to the Ivorians. Whatever resolution we come to, the Ivorians, whatever party, must not doubt that there are people outside who think differently," Zuma said.

"They must know the AU has spoken," he said.

Zuma was appointed to an AU crisis council, along with five other presidents, to help persuade Gbagbo to relinquish the country's presidency.

Other crisis panel members are Blaise Compaore, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Idriss Deby and Jakaya Kikwete, the heads of state of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad and Tanzania respectively.

Gbagbo refused to step down to president-elect Alassane Ouattara, who many believe won the country's elections in November.

  • Cassander - 2011-02-02 10:37

    Zuma's impartiality evaporated as soon as he cast doubt on the outcome of the election.

  • Francois - 2011-02-02 12:06

    Mr Zuma, I was under the impression that the AU said that Ouattara won the election and that Gbagbo must go. Everybody in SA, except you, that the AU has spoken, most probably because you were looking for another wife rather than to listen to the news. According to the charter of the AU, it is to encourage democracy - and the rule of democracy is that if you loose the election you loose the privilege to govern, like what the NNP did. Otherwise Marthinus van Schalkwyk would have been the President in command of the best army in Africa and you may would have been prime minister to look after forestry, fishing and women with Aids and disability. Get a grip on reality. The AU has spoken - endorse it and tell Gbagbo he must go. You can even let him stay in Aristide's flat, then Racist Mbeki can visit both of you at the same time - he knows the way there.

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