Visitors say Cote d'Ivoire's Gbagbo in "good health"

10:34, May 04, 2011      

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Cote d'Ivoire's deposed strongman Laurent Gbagbo is in "good health" and in "good spirit," a group of renown figures in the West African country say.

The conclusion was made by the African Group of Eminent Persons after a visit on Monday in the northern town of Korhogo, where Gbagbo is held under surveillance.

"We have met the ex-president Laurent Gbagbo and he seemed to be in good health and in good spirit," the ex-UN secretary general, Koffi Annan, said on Monday at a press conference in the economic capital Abidjan.

Annan made the comments being flanked by former South African Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu and ex-Irish president Mary Robinson.

Gbagbo, who came to power in 2000, was defeated on April 11 when he was arrested by soldiers allied with his presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.

"He said that he was being well treated, that he was eating well and he was sleeping well," Annan added.

The eminent persons asked Gbagbo to support national reconciliation process, the former UN chief told reporters.

"I got the impression that he was a man who understood the prevailing conditions in his country," Annan noted, affirming that Gbagbo indicated that "his desire is to see normalcy restored in the country as soon as possible."

"We are hopeful that he will think about his participation in the national reconciliation process," the ex-UN secretary general said.

In this regard, "he must speak to his supporters to aid the national reconciliation," he said.

Cote d'Ivoire's president-elect Ouattara recently announced the formation of a "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission" to resolve the differences bedevilling the society and enable the country's citizens to live together.

The Group of Eminent Persons arrived in Abidjan on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua
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