RealNews

Ivory Coast, Rebels take break

Ivory Coast army and rebel forces agreed on Tuesday to pull their forces back from battle positions and confine them to principal cities within the zones under their control. The agreement, made in the capital of Yamoussoukro, raised hopes for a peaceful resolution to the former French colony’s conflict, which began in September with a failed attempt to oust President Laurent Gbagbo. Ivorian and French army officials said they were not certain when the troop pullback would begin, but expressed optimism in overall progress made to keep guns quiet since a ceasefire took effect in early May. Despite the ceasefire and a unity government, which includes members from the rebellion, opposition parties, and Gbagbo’s party, Ivory Coast is still divided along a ceasefire line that divides the rebel north from the loyalist south. A French force of nearly 4 000 soldiers is working in co-operation with a regional peacekeeping force to monitor the ceasefire in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer and once considered the most-stable and prosperous country in west Africa. Full Story

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