Two-day break for Ivorian peace talks in Lome

Lome- Togo (PANA) -- Peace talks launched Wednesday between rebels and the Ivorian government have broken off for two days, sources close to the mediators reported Saturday in Lome.
According to the sources, the negotiations will resume Monday to examine demands made by the rebels of the Cote d'Ivoire Patriotic Movement (MPCI) to the government.
The first stage of the discussions ended Friday night, with the signing of a communique and two declarations pertaining to the rebels' demands to transport humanitarian aid to the areas under siege.
After the first round of discussions, a joint military committee in charge of drafting recommendations was established.
Both parties have also committed themselves to freeing all civil and military prisoners.
In addition, Ivorian officials are reportedly committed to offering amnesty in favour of the mutineers and deserting and exiled soldiers.
The soldiers would eventually be reintegrated into the FANCI (Cote d'Ivoire Armed Forces).
Parliament is also expected to pass a law to improve the living conditions of soldiers, the sources said.
The two sides have agreed on the transport of humanitarian aid to people living in the areas occupied by mutinous soldiers, mainly in the north of the country.
In this regard, the two parties decided to institute a committee with humanitarian organisations by the end of next week to implement the supplies of aid.
They also decided to create a security and administrative body, charged with ensuring the transportation of the said aid.
Led by the president of the economic and social council, Laurent Dona Fologo, the Ivorian government delegation is made up of 16 members.
On the other hand, the MPCI delegation has been reduced from seven to five members, with the departure Thursday of the rebel leaders Tuo Fozie and Cheriff Ousmane for Bouake, 350 km north of Abidjan.
The MPCI secretary general, Soro Guillaume, is now leading the Rebel group.
Togolese leader Gnassingbe Eyadema is facilitating the negotiations on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) contact group.
ECOWAS executive secretary, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the African Union's special envoy, former Sao Tome and Principe President Miguel Traovoda, are taking part in the talks.

02 november 2002 14:11:00

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