I. Coast's Ouattara 'appeals' to Gbagbo camp for unity govt

10th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast's Alassane Ouattara is willing to work as president in a unity government with Laurent Gbagbo's camp if the strongman drops his claim to power, the country's UN envoy has told the BBC.

"What I am saying is Mr. Ouattara should be recognized by Mr. Gbagbo that he is the legitimate president," Ivory Coast's UN ambassador Youssoufou Bamba was cited as saying in an interview with the BBC released Monday.

"And from there, Mr. Gbagbo is not alone. He has followers, he has competent people in his party. Those people, we are prepared to work with them. In the framework of a wide composite cabinet."

Bamba said Ouattara could work with Gbagbo but rejected comparisons with the the situation in Kenya or Zimbabwe, which have power-sharing governments.

"Yes he could work with him [Gbagbo]. Because he is an Ivorian citizen...," Bamba was cited as saying.

Ouattara is internationally recognised as the winner of November 28 presidential polls in the west African nation, but incumbent Gbagbo also claims to have won the vote and is refusing to give up power.

"What I am saying should be clear. The win by Mr. Ouattara could not be put into question anymore. That, if Mr. Gbagbo accepts that, we could negotiate. Otherwise, I could not understand how it could be otherwise," Bamba said.

© 2011 AFP

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