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Kenneth Meshoe

Bloc blamed for Côte d’Ivoire ‘confusion’

Kenneth Meshoe 49%

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AFRICAN Christian Democratic Party leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe yesterday blamed the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) for sowing confusion over the deadly electoral dispute in Côte d’Ivoire.


Rev Meshoe, who returned from a four-day fact-finding mission in Côte d’Ivoire yesterday, is the latest high-profile South African to enter the fray on the disputed presidential elections.


President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara are embroiled in a stand- off as each claims to have won the November 28 elections.


The international community, including Ecowas and the African Union, endorsed Mr Ouattara as the winner.


"We have documents from the constitutional court judges that will shock the world on what really transpired during the presidential elections," Rev Meshoe told Business Day.


He said Ecowas, which has 16 members, initially proclaimed ballots tallied from the northern region — where Mr Ouattara comes from — fraudulent.


Ecowas has since threatened to remove Mr Gbagbo by force if he does not step down.


Rev Meshoe said he had an hour-long meeting with Mr Gbagbo at the weekend in an effort to reach a settlement.


Mr Ouattara, on the other hand, ha d refused to meet the four-member church delegation.


Rev Meshoe said the information contained in the documents would be shared with the public later this month.


Reports from Côte d’Ivoire indicate that up to 19000 people have fled to neighbouring Liberia since violence erupted in the wake of the disputed elections.


Former president Thabo Mbeki tried unsuccessfully to mediate after the elections.


The European Union and the US have instituted targeted sanctions against Mr Gbagbo and his inner circle. However, Mr Gbagbo has vowed that he will not relinquish his position as president after the country’s constitutional court declared him the winner.





Source: www.businessday.co.za


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