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Ouattara hints at Ivorian unity govt.

Other News Materials 11 January 2011 06:43
Internationally recognized Ivorian leader Alassane Ouattara is ready to work with the ruling officials in a unity government if incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo steps down, an envoy says, Press TV reported.
Ouattara hints at Ivorian unity govt.

Internationally recognized Ivorian leader Alassane Ouattara is ready to work with the ruling officials in a unity government if incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo steps down, an envoy says, Press TV reported.

"What I am saying is Mr. Ouattara should be recognized by Mr. Gbagbo that he is the legitimate president," Ivory Coast's UN Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba said in an interview with the BBC on Monday.

"And from there, Mr. Gbagbo is not alone. He has followers; he has competent people in his party. Those people, we are prepared to work with them in the framework of a wide composite cabinet."

Bamba noted Ouattara could work with Gbagbo. He, however, stated that the feuding politicians would not sign a power-sharing deal. "Yes, he could work with him [Gbagbo]. Because he is an Ivorian citizen," Bamba was quoted as saying.

The remarks come as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that Ivory Coast is on the brink of a civil war as tensions grow over the disputed outcome of the run-off presidential election on November 28 in the West African country.

On Thursday, the UN mission in Ivory Coast said 210 people have been killed in the country since its presidential standoff escalated.

Nearly 22,000 Ivorians have fled to neighboring Liberia following the post-poll instability in former French colony, reports say.

On December 2, Ivory Coast's electoral commission announced that opposition candidate Ouattara had won the nation's long-awaited presidential election with 54 percent of the vote.

However, the Constitutional Council immediately contested the result, citing the electoral commission's failure to declare the vote result by Wednesday's deadline.

The council overruled earlier provisional poll results a day later and declared Gbagbo as the winner of the country's presidential run-off election.

Gbagbo has ignored calls from countries across the African continent and elsewhere around the globe to admit defeat to Ouattara and step down.

On December 9, the 53-nation African Union (AU) decided to suspend the membership of Ivory Coast over the disputed presidential election. The AU said the suspension would remain until Ouattara takes power.

A few days later, the European Union slapped a round of sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, against Gbagbo and his political aides to further his diplomatic isolation.

Ivory Coast is still reeling from the 2002-2003 civil war in the world's top cocoa-producing nation.

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