January 19, 2011 / 9:09 AM / in 9 years

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo rejects Kenyan as mediator

Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara (L), standing next to Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, points at a placard at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan January 17, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s incumbent Laurent Gbagbo will no longer accept Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga as mediator in his election row with Alassane Ouattara because he is biased, Gbagbo’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Odinga cut short a visit to Ivory Coast aiming to end a violent dispute between the two men over who won a November 28 poll. At the airport, Odinga said Gbagbo had twice broken a promise to lift a military siege on Ouattara’s hotel and warned Gbagbo he faced sanctions or military force if he refused to step down.

“Mr. Odinga has failed in his mission and we are no longer prepared to receive him,” Gbagbo’s foreign minister Alcide Djedje told a news conference. “He was not willing to seek a durable solution.... He took the side of Mr. Ouattara.”

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