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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:22, June 08, 2006
Cote d'Ivoire's pro-government militia said to postpone planned disarmament
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Cote d'Ivoire's pro-government militia would postpone disarmament set to begin on Thursday, according to the national program for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

The planned disarmament date could be delayed for "a few days for technical reasons," the source indicated Wednesday.

The government and rebel groups agreed last week to start the disarmament of the pro-government militia on June 8.

However, the meeting, attended by government army chief Philippe Mangou, anti-government forces chief of staff Soumaila Bakayoko and other senior officials, failed to set a date for the disarmament of rebel and government troops. The two sides said they would meet soon on the issue.

Disarmament is a key precondition of the presidential election due by October in Cote d'Ivoire. As the world's top cocoa producer, the West African country has been locked in a civil war which started after a failed coup in September 2002.

The government signed two peace deals, namely, the Marcoussis agreement and the Accra agreement, with anti-government troops in 2003 and 2004, but they have barely held together. Both sides have repeatedly failed to lay down arms in the past, blaming each other for the failure.

Source: Xinhua

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