Ivory Coast Inaugurates Peace Panel

Posted September 28th, 2011 at 8:56 am (UTC-5)
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Ivory Coast, which endured months of deadly post-election violence this year, is launching a reconciliation panel aimed at unifying the nation.

President Alassane Ouattara is set to inaugurate the The Commission on Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation on Wednesday in the political capital, Yamoussoukro.

The 11-member panel will be modeled after the commission that helped unify South Africa after the end of apartheid.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who led the panel in his country, warned Tuesday that the Ivorian panel's work will be undermined if there is a perception it is applying a “victor's justice.”

Fighting erupted in Ivory Coast last December after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to Mr. Ouattara, the internationally-recognized winner of the presidential election.

Pro-Ouattara fighters eventually seized control of the capital and arrested Mr. Gbagbo, who is now under house arrest.

The new panel includes religious leaders and people who represent the differing sides of the political struggle. Another member is English Premier League football player Didier Drogba, who represents the West African country's diaspora.