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Reconciliation Panel Announced in Ivory Coast


Former Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, center, is to lead the new reconciliation panel (file photo)

Former Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, center, is to lead the new reconciliation panel (file photo)

Ivory Coast's president says former prime minister Charles Konan Banny will lead a reconciliation panel set up to heal divisions from the country's political crisis.

President Alassane Ouattara spoke to reporters Sunday in Abidjan, where he met with members of The Elders, a group of global leaders that includes former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and former Irish president Mary Robinson.

Mr. Ouattara said that "very soon" Banny will be named president of The Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation.

Banny was prime minister in a transitional government under President Laurent Gbagbo from December 2005 to April 2007.

Ivory Coast endured more than four months of deadly political violence after President Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in the November 2010 election.

Mr. Ouattara took over the presidency last month after his supporters, backed by United Nations and French forces, captured Mr. Gbagbo at his residence.

The power struggle between the two men took the lives of hundreds of civilians and displaced an estimated 1 million people from their homes.

Political violence in Ivory Coast was triggered by a coup in 1999 that was followed in 2002 by a rebel uprising that divided the country in two. Elections were postponed for more than five years until finally going ahead in November.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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