France - Côte d'Ivoire

Koulibaly says Côte d'Ivoire needs reconciliation at top-level

AFP/Kambou Sia

The speaker of Côte d'Ivoire's parliament, Mamadou Koulibaly, called on Thursday for reconciliation talks between President Alassane Ouattara and his predecessors, Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bedie.


"The causes of the Ivorian crisis are political and not ethnic. There is a personalised hatred among the leaders of the three big parties, Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bedie et Alassane Ouattara", Koulibaly told journalists.

Koulibaly was number two under Gbagbo who was ousted in April after a bloody conflict which claimed at least 3,000 lives.

"If we recognise that there is a problem among the three, they will be forced to meet each other around a table, not to carve up power, but to bring about reconciliation," added Koulibaly, who quit Gbagbo's party to set up his own movement, Liberty and Democracy for the Republic.

He was speaking a day after Ouattara launched a Commission on Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation, headed by former prime minister Charles Konan Banny, in the capital Yamoussoukro.

The 11-member commission includes one Christian and one Muslim religious leader and five representatives of the west African country's major regions.

Ouattara has vowed to unite Ivory Coast after a five-month political standoff, sparked by Gbagbo's refusal to accept defeat at the polls after a November vote.

Koulibaly said he was waiting for many details on "the methodology, the timetable and the steps taken" by the commission, which has no power of amnesty.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning