China meets with rebels in Libya

The government of china has made its first confirmed contact with the Libyan rebels. This is one of the latest diplomatic setbacks encountered by Moamar Gadhafi. France said that it is persuading people that are close to the Libyan leader to convince him to leave power.

Chinese diplomats and Libyan rebels met in Qatar as a result of defections to the rebel sides by notable figures in the Libyan governments. As the war in Libya intensifies the rebels and NATO had made the departure of Gadhafi as a condition for ceasefire in the country. Gadhafi has said in clear terms that he will not leave the country. He told the South African president who came on AU delegation that he will not leave Libya. NATO had this week extended its operations which were supposed to end by June 27th for another 90 days sending a warning to Gadhafi that they are not prepared to leave Libya until they have accomplished their aims in the country.

Reacting to the situation in Libya the French foreign minister Juppe said that Col Gadhafi is more isolated adding that more of his loyalists are defecting. The Chinese foreign ministry has said that the Chinese ambassador to Qatar had discussed with the Libyan rebels on ways to bring about the development of Libya.

ECOWAS Calls on Ivorian President To Resign

Gbagbo(L) Ouatarra (R): both claimed the presidency in polls after civil war

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appealed to Ivory Coast’s President Laurent Gbagbo to resign, and avoid ‘unnecessary bloodshed’ in the country. There were violent clashes in Ivory Coast following Gbagbo’s denial from stepping down on Thursday and many protesters were killed.

Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director stated that there was an international consensus to pressurize Ivorian president to resign from the post and give power to the former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.

The ECOWAS official justified the demonstration by the supporters of former Prime Minister Ouattara unless they were violent. He said that the government of Ivory coast should not suppress people’s right to demonstrate. A senior official of the US State department revealed that the United States would impose sanctions against Mr.  Gbagbo if he continued to deny from resigning. France and the African Union have also issued similar warning against the Ivory Coast president for his undemocratic behavior.

More violent protest followed the warnings by different countries. There were clashes between the pro-Gbago troops and Ouattara supporters in the city of Abidjan and also in the central Ivorian city of Tiebissou, leading to death of 30 people reportedly.

Mr. Ouattara appealed to his supporters to take hold of administrative buildings which were still under control of Mr. Gbagbo.

President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara  both declared themselves as winners in the previous polls after the 2002 civil war. The voting was done in order to reestablish peace in Ivory Coast after the civil war.  The ECOWAS official feared that the current crisis might hamper the economic development in the entire West African region.