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Analyst Says Ivory Coast Mediation Efforts Should Be Broadened - 2002-11-14

Ivory Coast rebels have rejected a government draft peace plan aimed at ending the country’s eight-week conflict. English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey spoke with Dr. Herbert Ekwekwe, a political analyst and researcher on politics, conflict resolution and alternatives on Francophone Africa.

Speaking from London, Dr. Ekwekwe told Richard the rebels’ demand for the resignation of President Laurent Gbagbo is not likely to be accepted, and it is inconceivable that the rebels would comply with the government’s demand that they lay down their arms.

He said for both parties to have confidence in the peace talks, the ECOWAS mediation effort should have been broadened to include many credible people from other parts of Africa and elsewhere; he said it should not have been left in the hands on one person, Togolese president Gnassingbe Eyadema, no matter how objective he might be.

Dr. Ekwekwe said many heads of state are unfortunately implicated in the Ivorian crisis and can not be objective about the peace process. He said there must be a greater level of open-mindedness at the talks.

Click above links to hear interview with Dr. Ekwekwe.