Inter-Ivorian negotiations fail to resume in Lome

Lome- Togo (PANA) -- Negotiations between the Ivorian government and representatives of mutinous soldiers did not resume Monday in Lome as expected.
The peace talks were suspended last Friday after the signing of an agreement on the demands put forward by the Patriotic Movement of Cote d'Ivoire (MPCI), the insurgents' political wing.
Togolese officials said the session was postponement following the departure Saturday of the two delegation leaders, Laurent Dona Fologo for Abidjan and Soro Guillaume for Bouaké, 350 km north of Abidjan, respectively.
Contacted by telephone, a member of the MPCI delegation, Lieutenant-Colonel Gueu Michel told PANA that Soro Guillaume, was expected in Lome late Monday or early Tuesday, probably in the company of Warrant officer Tuo Fozié.
Meanwhile, a member of the Ivorian government team said that Laurent Dona Fologo was expected in the Togolese capital later on Monday.
After the two sides had signed their first agreement on the material demands of the rebellious soldiers, including the creation of a joint military commission charged with making recommendations, they are supposed to tackle the political aspects of the negotiations.
The MPCI has prepared a seven-point platform, which it intends to submit to the government delegation.
The mutinous soldiers are calling for the organisation of all- inclusive within six to eight months, the adoption of a new "consensual" constitution and the repeal of the law on the identification of people in Cote d'Ivoire.
They particularly demand for an end to the "Ivoirity" policy, exclusion and xenophobia, among other things.
The inter-Ivorian negotiations started last Wednesday in Lome, four days after a meeting of the ECOWAS security and defence committee in Abidjan.
The committee composed of foreign ministers from 10 out of the 15 ECOWAS member countries, decided to send a West African intervention force of 2,000 troops.
Togo's President Gnassingbe Eyadema, who also heads the ECOWAS contact group on the Ivorian crisis, is chairing the negotiations in Lome.
ECOWAS executive secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas, African Union's representative, former president of Sao Tome and Principe, Miguel Troavoada, as well as Patrick Hayford, UN secretary general's special envoy, are actively involved in the talks.

04 november 2002 21:10:00

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