Johannesburg — The South African government has urged President Laurent Gbagbo to respect and abide by declarations regional bodies have issued with regard to the second round of elections in Côte d’Ivoire, the international relations department said on Wednesday.
“The South African government calls for restraint and further urges the Ivorian leaders to promote national reconciliation and unity as the uppermost priority during this period in Côte d’Ivoire,” the department said in a statement.
The statement was issued after government took note of the final communiqué of heads of state and government of the economic community of west African states (ECOWAS) on Côte d’Ivoire held on Tuesday in Abuja.
On Tuesday former president Thabo Mbeki handed a preliminary report on his earlier emergency mission to Côte d’Ivoire to the chairman of the African Union Commission.
“Mbeki was requested by AU chairman Jean Ping to travel to Côte d’Ivoire to facilitate rapid and peaceful conclusions of the electoral process and to find a way out of the crisis,” his spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said in a statement.
This was on the basis of AU decisions and consultations with concerned groups. Whilst there, Mbeki met with several parties, including both candidates of the November 28 presidential elections.