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Want to help bring peace in Ivory Coast: Drogba

Football star Didier Drogba is determined to make a valid contribution to re-establishing peace in his native Ivory Coast as a member of the country's truth and reconciliation panel.


Didier Drogba

"I am not superman," the striker for English Premier League club Chelsea told a small group of journalists in London on Tuesday. "I leave the politics to the politicians, but I would like to add my contribution."

In a press conference earlier with former Ivory Coast prime minister Charles Konan Banny, who will chair the panel, Drogba expressed his pride at being invited to help probe the post-election violence in which 3,000 people were killed.

"I think the Ivorian people have suffered too much," Drogba said. "We have to work towards reconciliation, forgiveness and living together," he said, but he admitted "it will not happen overnight".

"We want peace, we want the country to go forward, to develop and I want to be part of it," he said.
"I can send some messages and I hope people will listen."

Drogba said it was however unlikely he will be able to return to Ivory Coast for the official inauguration of the commission on September 28 in Yamoussoukro, the country's political capital. "Whether I am there or not has no bearing on the depth of my commitment."

The political crisis in Ivory Coast was sparked last November when incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after official results showed his opponent Alassane Ouattara had won the presidential election.

At least 3,000 people are estimated to have been killed in violence that ended last April when Gbagbo was arrested by forces supporting Ouattara.

Gbagbo and his wife Simone, who are being held in the north of the country, were last month charged with economic crimes.

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