Ivory Coast situation worries Pretoria

2011-03-31 08:44

South Africa remains “deeply” concerned at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Ivory Coast, the Department of International Relations said today.

“South Africa believes that the Economic Community Of West African States (Ecowas), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) should persist in their quest to find a peaceful political solution to the current crises,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

The ministry believed this was the only sustainable approach to restore national reconciliation, unity, democracy, and good governance.

Monyela said South Africa supported the AU Commission in its efforts to appoint a representative to implement an overall political solution.

“The indiscriminate violence throughout the country continues to cause untold human suffering with serious regional consequences.

“The continued senseless killing of civilians, threats and acts of intimidation as well as the rising numbers of refugees is a serious violation of human rights,” said Monyela.

During the country’s presidential election in November last year, challenger and former prime minister Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner, having secured 54.1% of the vote over incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.

The two leaders were at loggerheads and Gbagbo supporters repulsed forces loyal to his rival in a battle for control of Abidjan, the country’s economic capital.

According to the UN, bloodshed since the poll has claimed at least 400 lives.

South Africa backed all regional moves to resolve the crisis, including the AU’s firm recognition of Ouattara as the winner of last year’s presidential elections.

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