Various UN-brokered agreements did not produce progress until a locally-manufactured peace deal in 2007 led to elections being called.

 

This deal helped launch reunification in the country.

 

'Things are happening'

 

Dumisani Kumalo, the South African envoy, said: "If you put things in the hands of the Ivorians it moves.

 

"There's been more movement in the past year than ever,

 

"You know all of these things, when we came here last year they were telling us they never would happen: they are happening now.

 

"The Ivorian people want elections on November 30."

 

The envoys met Gbagbo, military generals from both sides of the conflict and civil society and political party members.

 

The envoys had earlier visited Sudan, Chad, Dijibouti – to discuss neighbouring Somalia – and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the tour.

 

Kumalo said: "I think it was a success. We did very well in Djibouti with Somalia and I think we did very well in Sudan.

 

"Chad was a lost cause. Congo was very good and we end here with a high note."

Somalia has agreed to an interim government and some opposition figures signed a peace deal on Monday calling for a UN stabilisation force in the country.

 

Idriss Deby, Chad's president, failed to turn up for a meeting with the UN group to discuss relations with neighbouring Sudan.