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Côte D'ivoire: Ethnic Aspects Of Conflict Examined

UN Expert On Racism To Examine Ethnic Aspects Of Conflict In Côte D'ivoire

A United Nations expert on racism today began a 12-day visit to Côte d'Ivoire to examine the role of ethnicity in the context of the country's conflict.

Doudou Diene, the UN Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, will visit Abidjan, the country's political centre, and its capital, Yamoussoukro, as well as other towns to gather information on the socio-political dynamics in Côte d'Ivoire, according to a statement released in Geneva.

The expert hopes to meet Ivorian authorities and representatives of the several groups, including the formerly rebel "Forces nouvelles," now a part of the coalition government, as well as members of civil society and the international community in Abidjan.

Fierce fighting between the Government of Côte d'Ivoire and rebel forces, which erupted in September 2002, largely ended with a peace agreement, signed in Linas-Marcoussis, France, in January last year. French forces known as Licorne and West African peacekeeping troops have been keeping the former warring parties apart, aided by a small UN mission (MINUCI).

Mr. Diene previously visited Canada, Colombia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

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