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Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo Saturday urged Togolese leader
Gnassingbe Eyadema, who has been trying to mediate an end to the
five-month Ivorian war, to support ongoing talks on the formation
of a unity government.
Gbagbo and the new Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, named to the post
after French-brokered peace talks in January between rebels and
Ivorian political parties, have so far failed to name a unity
government acceptable to all parties.
Eyadema, Africa's longest-serving ruler, was mandated by the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the
crisis and has hosted peace talks in the Togolese capital of Lome
between the rebels and the Ivorian government.
The parleys in Lome were deadlocked for weeks but ended with a
ceasefire agreement on the eve of the French-brokered peace talks
Gbagbo on Saturday asked a special ECOWAS contact group on the
Ivorian crisis, which Eyadema heads, "to support different
consultations under way (in Ivory Coast) to form a reconciliation
"The allocation of some key posts constitutes a basic problem for
which I am trying to seek solutions with the prime minister,"
Rebels claim they were promised the defence and interior ministries
at the talks held near Paris, but the Ivorian armed forces and
major political parties rejected outright the key portfolios going
to the insurgents.
Ivory Coast's new consensus Prime Minister Diarra, a former
diplomat who served as premier earlier in a short-lived military
regime, has admitted that forming a please-all power-sharing
government was beset by problems.
"Even (the portfolios) for arts and crafts and monitoring the
informal economy pose problems," he said in the Senegalese capital
Dakar late Friday after holding talks with President Abdoulaye
Wade, who chaired the 15-nation ECOWAS until January 15, has played
a prominent role in trying to defuse the crisis.
ECOWAS is now headed by President John Kufuor of Ghana, which took
up the rotating presidency of the bloc from Senegal - Sapa-AFP