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04 Mar 2003 07:00
The head of the main rebel group in strife-torn Ivory Coast Monday called for the United Nations to dispatch troops to the country to enforce a French-brokered peace accord.
“Since the UN is enforcing Resolution 1441 on Iraq, we ask that the UN respect its Resolution 1464 concerning Ivory Coast and dispatch its troops to enforce the resolution,” said Guillaume Soro, secretary general of the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement (MPCI).
He was referring to a resolution the UN adopted on February 4, which supported the peace accords that the Ivorian government and rebel representatives reached at talks near Paris at the end of January.
The accords call for the government and rebels to form a unity government and have enraged government supporters in the country while the UN resolution called for their immediate implementation.
Seydou Diarra, who was appointed prime minister at the peace talks, on Monday said that a unity government would be announced next week, despite “blockages from all sides.”
Soro has said the MPCI would not join a unity government unless it receives the posts of interior and defense ministries, which he claims the group was promised at the peace talks.
War broke out in Ivory Coast when disgruntled soldiers rose up against the government in September and quickly took control of the northern half of the country.
A fragile truce has largely held since October, monitored by French troops, but two new rebel movements emerged late in November in the west, where there have been clashes with the French. - Sapa-AFP
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