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Côte D'Ivoire President Signs Power-Sharing Decree

CÔTE D'IVOIRE PRESIDENT SIGNS POWER-SHARING DECREE ANNAN HELPED TO DRAFT

New York, Aug 10 2004 6:00PM

President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire has signed a new power-sharing decree giving some of his responsibilities to Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, a United Nations spokesman said today.

"The language of that decree was worked out with the Secretary-General's help at the recent summit in Accra, Ghana," Fred Eckhard said at the daily briefing, adding that the signing was a welcome development fulfilling part of the "Accra III Agreement," the deal signed at the end of that meeting late last month.

Under the deal, the transitional government and opposition parties pledged to implement the January 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, which ended bitter fighting between factions in the north and the south, but which had caused a four-month political stalemate.

The deal, whose exact clauses have not been made public, also calls for a new nationality code that would expand the field of political candidates to include people of immigrant descent and for rebel forces to disarm by mid-October.

The West African country has been roiled by unrest that started with a failed coup against Mr. Gbagbo in 2002.

2004-08-10 00:00:00.000

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