Ivory Coast Inaugurates Reconcilation Panel

Posted September 28th, 2011 at 12:20 pm (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 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.”

In a separate development Wednesday, Ivory Coast's government said parliamentary elections will be held December 11.

Government spokesman Bruno Kone said the cabinet endorsed a date proposed by the electoral commission.

The polls are seen as the next step toward establishing political stability in Ivory Coast.

Some 3,000 people were killed in the post-election violence that erupted after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in last year's presidential election. Pro-Ouattara fighters eventually seized control of the country and arrested Mr. Gbagbo, who is now under house arrest.

The new reconciliation 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.