Mbeki begins Ivory Coast political mission
IVORY COAST: Laurent Gbagbo and opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara have both sworn themselves in after claiming victory in a presidential run-off. Mr Ouattara was initially declared the winner but the result was overturned in the incumbent's favour.
The AU has warned the crisis could have "incalculable consequences".
In a statement, the organisation rejected "any attempt to create a fait accompli to undermine the electoral process and the will of the people". It called on all parties to "show the necessary restraint and to refrain from taking actions which will exacerbate an already fragile situation". Several countries and international organisations - including the US, UN, France and the IMF - have backed Mr Ouattara as the true winner of last Sunday's run-off.
Mr Mbeki arrived at Abidjan airport on Sunday morning, South African embassy officials said.
When he was president of South Africa, Mr Mbeki helped to mediate a peace deal in Ivory Coast. But he was seen by the opposition as being uncomfortably close to Mr Gbagbo.
The BBC's John James, in Abidjan, says it is difficult to see what scope there is for Mr Mbeki to mediate, as both men are adamant that they legitimately won the poll.
The fear is that if he fails to find a way out, rebel groups in the north who support Mr Ouattara will take up arms in protest.
Mr Ouattara was declared the winner on Thursday by Ivory Coast's Election Commission, but on Friday its ruling was overturned by the Constitutional Council, which is led by an ally of the incumbent, Mr Gbagbo.
Once hailed as a model of stability, slipped into internal strife several years after death of first President Felix HouphouetBoigny in 1993. An armed rebellion in 2002 split the country between rebel north and government south
A power-sharing government took over in 2007 with the ex-rebel leader as prime minister 2010: First presidential elections in 10 years -culmination of the peace process. -Ap