Côte d’Ivoire: Outtara Denies Agreeing to Meet Gbagbo
African Union mediator and Kenya prime minister Raila Odinga has announced that political rivals, Allasane Outtara and Laurent Gbagbo, would be meeting face-to-face in an attempt to end the country’s political crisis.
This was denied by the Ouattara camp, calling the claim ‘completely false’.
Head of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, and Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan told reporters today that there is still a stalemate.
ECOWAS members met with both men separately yesterday.
Meanwhile, the United States said yesterday that Gbagbo, who has family members in Atlanta, Georgia, could seek refuge there, but that this was a limited time offer.
Western countries and African regional groups have called for Gbagbo to step down after Ouattara was deemed the winner of the presidential run-off by the countries’ electoral commission.
A Nigerian military spokesman said last week that west African military chiefs met in Abuja to set in motion plans to oust Gbagbo if negotiations fail.
A follow-up meeting on this last resort plan is scheduled to take place in Mali on 17 and 18 January 17.