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Côte D'ivoire Government And Rebels To Withdraw

Côte D'ivoire Government And Rebels To Withdraw Frontline Weapons Tomorrow – UN

New York, Apr 20 2005

Government and rebel forces in Côte d'Ivoire will start withdrawing heavy weaponry from the frontline beginning Thursday, the United Nations mission in the West African country announced today, a move it welcomed as a strong signal that the sides are following earlier agreements seeking to end a three-year conflict.

The withdrawal operation will continue until 24 April.

The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (<"http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unoci/index.html">UNOCI) has been seeking to ensure that both sides abide by a peace agreement signed in January 2003 in Linas-Marcoussis, France, a supplementary accord reached last July in Accra, Ghana, and further arrangements brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki on behalf of the African Union (AU).

Côte d'Ivoire, the world's leading cocoa producer, has been split between the north, held by the rebel Forces Nouvelles, and the south, under the control of the Government's Defence and Security Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, since a coup attempt against President Laurent Gbagbo failed in 2002.

ENDS

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