The West African group of mediators working to end the rebellion in Ivory Coast says the rebels are willing to begin negotiations as early as Thursday. The group represents ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States.
English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey spoke with Harrruna Atta, editor of the Ghanaian daily newspaper the Accra Mail. He said he attended a meeting of ECOWAS heads of state last Sunday in Accra at which the situation in the Ivory Coast was the main item on the agenda.
Mr. Atta said the leaders agreed that the principles of democracy and constitutionality must prevail in African politics and military uprisings in any form in any African country must not be accepted. He said the presence at the meeting of South African president Thabo Mbeki, who is not a member of ECOWAS, showed the seriousness of the Ivorian situation and added more weight to the deliberations.
Mr. Atta said the leaders also expressed concern that if the crisis is not contained in good time, it might affect NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa?s Development.