May 3- Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo urges his supporters to drop political quarrels to make way for economic revival of Ivory Coast. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Peace first, politics later. That's what deposed president Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast is now advocating. About a month ago, Gbagbo and his election rival Alassane Ouattara were embroiled in a power struggle when a UN-certified commision declared Ouattara the winner. Gbago refused to leave office and 3,000 people were killed in clashes as a result. During a recent visit by a delegation of former global leaders including Kofi Anan - Gbagbo, who's still under house arrest, seems to have agreed to put politics aside for the time being. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER PRESIDENT OF IVORY COAST, LAURENT GBAGBO, SAYING: "This country has the mechanics of a good economy, and so for integration purposes, we shouldn't break it down. We shouldn't destroy it with our political quarrels." Ouattara, meanwhile, has promised to set up a truth and reconciliation commission and to form a unity government with members of Gbagbo's party. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANAN, SAYING: "We came here in support of the government and the population for the reconciliation which is absolutely necessary. The economy also needs rebuilding, and I hope we will also get the chance to talk about everything the international community can do to help." Ouattara enjoys widespread international support, but faces an enormous challenge of rebuilding the economy and restoring law and order in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower and once dubbed as the Paris of West Africa. Part of the peacebuilding challenge is also to heal the rift between Ouattara's supporters in the north, and Gbagbo's in the south. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.