RealNews

Pullback Shows Obstacles to Ivorian Disarmament

A bulky Russian tank slips off its narrow transporter in central Ivory Coast, its heavy treads crashing onto the road. After struggling for hours, soldiers pulling back heavy weapons from the front line finally give up, driving the machine slowly away in a haze of diesel smoke. The scene at Tiebissou is a reminder of the challenges facing Ivory Coast as it takes the first steps toward ending a civil war that has crippled the world’s top cocoa-growing nation. Rebels have agreed to withdraw heavy guns from the front line, but they say this is not disarmament and is simply meant to lower tensions in the former French colony. Rebel chief of staff Soumaila Bakayoko told Reuters the guns would not be mothballed, but redeployed at other strategic sites. He declined to say how many guns that was. Full Story

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