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Mediation collapses again in Ivory Coast

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Mediation collapses again in Ivory Coast
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The African Union’s latest attempt to mediate over Ivory Coast’s disputed presidential election has foundered.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga led the fifth round of talks but has now returned home.

Talking to reporters at the airport, it was clear where he thinks the blame lies:

“Time is running out for an amicably negotiate settlement. In addition, the window of opportunity for any amnesty will continue to close if Mr Gbagbo’s supporters continue to commit crimes against civilians and peacekeepers”.

Gbagbo has allegedly reneged on a key point – the withdrawal of his troops surrounding the hotel where his rival, Alassane Ouattara, is holed up, under UN protection.

Ouattara, who is widely considered to have won the vote, says talks are only possible if Gbagbo steps down. But Gbagbo has refused to go.

The regional group ECOWAS met yesterday to discuss the possibility of military intervention to oust Gbagbo.

But member nations are divided. Some say Gbagbo knows this and so does not consider force a threat.