Côte d'Ivoire

Ivorian first lady accepts Marcoussis accord, rebel ministers

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Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) - Côte d'Ivoire's first lady Simone Ehivet Gbagbo has stated that she now accepts the Marcoussis accord and the inclusion of ministers from rebel groups in the cabinet "if that is the price to pay" for peace.
"I have said that the Marcoussis text is bad and I repeat it. But President Gbagbo has proposed a way of implementing it and in so doing, he rendered justice to all those who were saying that the text was bad. He used the term "medicine," she told the state- owned daily, Fraternite Matin in an interview.

"This means that it is bad, but we should all accept it and apply it to build peace," said the president's spouse, who also heads the ruling Ivorian Popular Front's parliamentary group.

Côte d'Ivoire's consensus Prime Minister Seydou Elimane Diarra who was appointed under the terms of the Paris agreements has faced enormous problems in forming his cabinet due to irreconcilable demands from the disputing parties.

Concerning the entry of rebel leaders in the government, the first lady reiterated that while she was still opposed to the idea, she was prepared to accept it. "If this is the price to pay, we will be obliged to look into it and pray God that it goes well," she added.

Speaking in parliament on 4 February in Abidjan, the first lady had rejected the peace agreement signed in Marcoussis near Paris on 24 January. She urged France "to step aside and let Ivorians settle their own problems."

The president of the FPI parliamentary group is known for her radical positions since the beginning of the military insurrection that has rocked Côte d'Ivoire for the past five months.

Pan African News Agency
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