Côte d'Ivoire

Heads of State continue consultations on Côte d'Ivoire crisis

As a follow up to their visit to Abidjan on Saturday, February 1, 2003, ECOWAS Chairman, President John Kufuor of Ghana, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, Coordinator of the ECOWAS Contact Group on Côte D'Ivoire, held consultations in Yamoussoukro in the continuing effort to make progress in the implementation of the Marcoussis Accord.

They were joined by the Deputy President of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, representing President Thabo Mbeki, Chairman of the African Union.

The Heads of State acknowledged the national broadcast of President Laurent Gbagbo of Friday, February 7, 2003 in which he accepted the spirit of the Marcoussis Accord as the framework for resolving the Ivorian crisis.

In a speech to the meeting, President Gbagbo confirmed the appointment of Prime Minister Seydou Diarra as the new consensus Prime Minister of the government of National Reconciliation. He also charged the new Prime Minister to commence work towards the formation of a government that should include all the political groups in the country.

Subsequently, the Prime Minister presented a list of nominees for the various portfolios and accepted to continue consultations with President Gbagbo and all the parties at the Marcoussis Roundtable in order to quickly put in place the new government.

At the Yamoussoukro meeting, the Heads of State reaffirmed their solidarity with the Ivorian people and their readiness to continue their efforts to end the Ivorian war and bring about permanent peace, national reconciliation and national reconstruction.

Also in attendance were Mr. Amara Essy, interim President of the Commission of the African Union, Mr Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS and representatives of the Presidents of Mali, Niger and Senegal.