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GBAGBO REJECTS RM RAILA AS MEDIATOR.

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Denzel Musumba

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Laurent Gbagbo has rejected Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga as mediator in Cote d’Ivoire crisis. Mr Gbagbo, who is defying calls to step down from power and allow his rival Alassane Ouattara to rule, accused the mediator of bias only hours after the Kenyan leader blamed him of stalling peace talks. The international community has widely recognised Mr Ouattara as the legitimate winner of Cote d’Ivoire's presidential elections, but Mr Gbagbo has rejected the results. President Gbagbo said the mediator appointed by the African Union was supporting his rival. Mr Gbagbo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alcide Djédjé told at a Press conference on Wednesday that Mr Odinga “has failed in his mission and we are no longer ready to receive him here”. Mr Djédjé explained that during his talks with Mr Gbagbo on Tuesday, the Kenyan Prime Minister asked for the lifting of military blockade around hotel sheltering opposition camp. According to him, contrary to what the mediator told journalists before leaving on Wednesday, Mr Gbagbo did not make any promise on the issue. He rather recalled that he already sent a letter to President of AU Commission telling him that he is keeping the obstruction because of fear for violence from “heavily armed rebels” who are inside the resort. Mr Djédjé said Prime Minister Odinga told them he would give a feedback from his meeting with Mr Alassane Ouattara but “against all odds, the appointment was not honoured until the departure of Mr Odinga on Wednesday morning”.

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