West African Leaders Meeting on Ivory Coast Presidential Crisis


West African leaders are holding a summit in Mali Saturday to work on resolving the presidential deadlock in Ivory Coast.

Members of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, have demanded that incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo resign and have threatened to use force if he does not step down.

Mr. Gbagbo has ignored demands to yield power to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s run-off election in November.

On Friday, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said efforts to end the Ivory Coast crisis by demanding that one of the two candidates resign are not working.  He said it is up to ECOWAS to decide what to do.

Mr. Zuma made his remarks after meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, an African Union mediator on Ivory Coast.

Also Friday, the United Nations denounced an order by Mr. Gbagbo for police and army officials to search all U.N. vehicles.

Mr. Ouattara is in a hotel in Abidjan where he is protected by U.N. peacekeepers.

He has said he is open to letting Mr. Gbagbo live in Ivory Coast with privileges as a former president, but that Mr. Gbagbo has to resign immediately and peacefully.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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