Media Reports on President Mbeki’s continued role in Cote d’Ivoire Mediation Process

There is no truth to the reports in some newspapers, apparently sourced from French news agencies that the African Union and Security Council has decided to ask President Mbeki to step down from the peace mediation in Cote d’Ivoire.

It is quite clear that there are forces that are bent on seeking the perpetuation of the destabilization in the region. It is indeed unfortunate that sections of the French media have lent themselves to such a misinformation campaign. Suggestions carried in a morning newspaper quoting Le Monde about a meeting allegedly "presided over by AU chairman and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo" are nothing but fabrications.

As a matter of fact, the communiqué of the 38th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, presided over by President Thabo Mbeki, was unequivocal in commending the AU Mediator and expressed ‘ITS APPRECIATION FOR THE PROGRESS MADE SO FAR IN ADDRESSING THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES THAT WERE IMPEDING THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LINAS MARCOUSSIS AND ACCRA AGREEMENTS’

The South African government is nevertheless mindful of the fact that there are significant interests at stake and that there would be elements who would feel threatened by peace breaking out in the region, especially a peace brokered by and large by Africans themselves.

South Africa will continue to play a constructive role in contributing to the resolution of the problems facing the African continent and therefore welcomes the initiative of the ECOWAS Summit to convene stated in the 38th PSC communiqué "TO ASSESS THE SITUATION WITH RESPECT TO THE PROBLEMS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTSTANDING AGREEMENTS AND REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL…. "

Issued By: Murphy Morobe

Head of Communications

The Presidency

Cell: 082 463 9334.

20 September 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa