Kenyan PM flies to Cote d’Ivoire for mission impossible
The announcement by the African Union came a day after Laurent Gbagbo rejected a deadline set by his rival for him to leave office, saying the international community is trying to stage a coup against him.
Speaking to reporters at a Nairobi airport, the African Union’s mediator in the Ivory Coast crisis described his first trip to the troubled west African country since being appointed by the AU as “a peace mission to protect democracy and the voice of the people of Ivory Coast.”
To understand the situation in Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Odinga, who was involved in the Kenya’s post election crisis in 2008, will first confer with West African leaders in Abuja, before proceeding to meet Mr Alassane Outtara and Gbagbo.
African Union chief Jean Ping picked the Kenyan leader last week to mediate in the Cote d’ivoire political stalemate.
Earlier, the Africa Union recognised Alassane Ouattara and even threatened a military action against the defiant Laurent Gbagbo if he fails to leave office.
But that is yet to be implemented. So far, diplomatic efforts by the AU have failed to persuade the incumbent president. American efforts, including a job offer to Mr Gbagbo have not reported any results.
Mr Ouattara was initially proclaimed the winner by Ivory Coast’s election commission, but the Constitutional Council said Mr Gbagbo had won. Both men have been sworn in as president but Alassane Ouattara is widely recognised as the victor in elections last month.