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Drogba joins Ivory Coast truth panel

International soccer star boosts visibility of reconciliation commission
Drogba ivory coast reconciliation 2011 9 28Enlarge
Ivory Coast's international soccer star Didier Drogba has joined his country's Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission to try and heal the country's bitter divisions. Here Drogba eyes the ball during a football match between Ivory Coast and Israel on August 10, 2011 in Geneva. (Fabrice Coffrini /AFP/Getty Images)

Ivory Coast’s most famous son, Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba, is coming home to help pick up the pieces after disputed elections triggered a war that left at least 3,000 dead earlier this year.

Drogba is a hero in his home country, his popularity transcending political divides, and he hopes to play an important role in Ivory Coast’s Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission which is sworn in today in Yamousoukro, the capital.

Officially Drogba’s role on the 11-member panel headed up by former Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny is to speak for overseas Ivorians but his talismanic presence carries a great deal of symbolic weight.

"It's a question of patriotism. I love my country and I wanted to contribute to the reconciliation,” Drogba told a press conference in London recently as his participation in the commission was announced.

I could not say no. Because I love Ivory Coast so much and the country has suffered so much,” Drogba said sitting next to commission chairman Banny. “We want peace, we want the country to go forward, to develop and I want to be part of it.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa-emerges/drogba-joins-ivory-coast-truth-panel