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UPDATED: 14:30, September 25, 2004
Deployment of UN peacekeeping troops in Cote d'Ivoire nearly finished
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The UN mission in Cote d'Ivoire declared in Abidjan on Friday that the deployment of the UN peacekeeping troops in the country, numbering 6,012 soldiers, was nearly completed.

In a statement released by the mission, the UN troops were divided into two sections, one headquartered in Cote d'Ivoire's central city of Bouake controlled by the rebels and the other headquartered in its southeastern city of Daloa controlled by the government forces.

The statement said that the headquarters of the UN troops, consisting of forces from Morocco, Ghana, Niger, Benin, France, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Senegal and Togo, was stationed in Cote d'Ivoire's capital of Abidjan.

In addition, 164 military observers from 40 countries were alsoin position.

The statement reiterated that the main tasks of the UN mission are to supervise the implementation of the peace agreement betweenthe two sides, monitor the situations in the frontier area and demobilize militants.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted in February Resolution 1528, which stipulates the deployment of a 6,590-strongUN peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire to provide support for its faltering peace process.

Cote d'Ivoire has been mired in low-level conflict and political bickering for 22 months since a failed coup against President Laurent Gbagbo plunged the former regional powerhouse into civil war.

The country has since been split into two warring camps, with rebels holding the north and government loyalists controlling the south. Major fighting came to an end after a French-brokered peacedeal was signed in January last year. But tensions have not eased,nor has violence ended, especially after the government decided tosack three opposition ministers in May.

Source: Xinhua

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