Ouattara signs decree to unify Cote d'Ivoire's security forces

17:03, March 18, 2011      

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Alassane Ouattara, declared as the winner of last year's presidential election and recognized as Cote d'Ivoire's legitimate president by the international community, on Thursday signed a decree to unify "the national armed forces and the New Forces (ex-rebels) under the name 'Cote d'Ivoire's Republican Forces (FRCI)'."

"I have signed an order creating Cote d'Ivoire's Republican Forces (FRCI), a new army which will comprise members from the national armed forces and the New Forces," Ouattara announced in a press statement obtained by Xinhua.

This army will be led by "a chief of general staff with his deputy," the statement added.

The statement said the new army will have to follow "a new code of conduct in order to contribute to the construction of a democratic, united and modern Cote d'Ivoire state."

The creation of a new national army was one of the recommendations of the inter-Cote d'Ivoire peace accord that was signed in March 2007 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, between incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and ex-rebels who were controlling the northern part of the country after the 2002 failed coup.

A similar army was experimented when the country created the Integrated Command Center (CCI), which was charged with the responsibility of offering security during last year's presidential elections.

The CCI was composed of members of the regular army and New Forces fighters.

The signing of this unification decree came amid signs of many members of pro-Gbagbo's army joining Ouattara's camp.

Recently, an ex-deputy commander in pro-Gbagbo's army was appointed as the spokesman of Ouattara's defense minister.

Source: Xinhua
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