Côte d’Ivoire: UN envoy holds talks with Government opposition to help stem violence

Côte d’Ivoire: UN envoy holds talks with Government opposition to help stem violence

A United Nations envoy is in Côte d’Ivoire for talks with government and opposition leaders in a bid to stem the outbreak of violence in the West African country, a UN spokesman said in New York today.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s new Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, held a meeting yesterday with President Laurent Gbagbo, during which the envoy urged moderation and dialogue as a means to resolve the situation.

Today, Mr. Ould-Abdallah met with both government and opposition leaders, including Alassane Ouattara and former President Henri Konan Bedie.

“He is meeting as many people as possible, including the UN country team and members of the diplomatic community,” spokesman Fred Eckhard told a press briefing.

On the humanitarian side, a team comprising UN relief agencies and non-governmental organizations is in the process of assessing the number and condition of people displaced within Abidjan, a major urban centre. Meanwhile, similar missions are planned for affected areas like Bouake and Korhogo as soon as security conditions allowed, the spokesman said.