Page last updated at 22:51 GMT, Sunday, 21 February 2010

'Urgent talks' needed to resolve Ivorian crisis

President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore (c) speaks after mediation talks with Ivory Coast opposition leaders
Mediator Blaise Compaore, centre, called for more talks

Further talks are urgently needed between Ivory Coast's main parties to resolve the country's political crisis, a mediator has said.

The government and the independent electoral commission were dissolved by the president more than a week ago, sparking anger and protests.

More talks are expected in Ivory Coast between the president of Burkina Faso, who is mediating, and parties.

The opposition has demanded the reinstatement of the electoral body.

After mediation talks on Sunday with President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, the two main opposition leaders reiterated their refusal to take part in any new government unless the commission was reinstated.

Henri Konan Bedie and Alassane Ouattara said a meeting of all the main political leaders was needed urgently to resolve the current crisis.

Fraud accusation

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro is scheduled to announce the new government, but this has already been postponed several times as the prime minister seeks to resolve the stand-off between the opposition and the president.

President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved both the government and the independent electoral commission on 12 February, accusing the body of fraud.

The opposition says the move was illegal and part of a strategy by President Gbagbo to further delay elections - first scheduled to take place in 2005 but postponed six times.

In protests on Friday in the town of Gagnoa, five people were killed when the security forces opened fire on the crowd.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Compaore arrives in I Coast - 1 hr ago
MSNBC Ivory Coast PM: New government to be announced - 7 hrs ago
Reuters Ivorian troops kill, wound protesters - 10 hrs ago
Washington PostMore protests erupt across Ivory Coast - 14 hrs ago
IOL Mediator heads to I Coast for crisis talks - 28 hrs ago
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