Ivorian New Forces leader complains to Mbeki

Bouake- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- The leader of the Ivorian New Forces (ex-rebels), Guillaume Soro, announced in Bouake Monday that he plans to complain to the African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki of South Africa that the presidential decrees issued on 15 July violated the January 2003 Linas Marcoussis peace agreements.
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"We expressed our reservations when president Thabo Mbeki requested Gbagbo to use article 48 because we thought this was tantamount to dictatorship.
"It is not surprising that he tampered with clauses to an extent that only two of the seven are in line with the letter and spirit of the Linas-Marcoussis agreement.
Today, everybody has realised that he duped the South African mediator.
On our part, we are already used to this," Soro told a news conference in Bouake, the central Ivorian regional capital.
The leader of former Ivorian rebel groups said that only the bills on the financing of political parties and the creation of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) were in order.
He claimed that President Gbagbo tampered with the others, including the law on the audiovisual that Mbeki personally regarded to be an achievement.
"The New Forces have always abided by their commitments, especially the clauses of all the agreements it signed.
This does not appear to be the case on the other side where they rarely keep their promises," said Soro, who accused the Ivorian president of continuing to give priority to a military solution.
He cited what he claimed to be Gbagbo's insistence to obtain weapons, violate the United Nations arms embargo with Guinea's complicity.
Soro said that two combat helicopters had already arrived in Conakry and were destined to the Defence and Security Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (DSF/CI).
The leader of ex-rebels deplored what he termed as "stage- managed" attacks an unidentified armed group Sunday in Anyama and Agboville, 22 km and 79 km from Abidjan, respectively.
About ten people, including five gendarmes were killed in the attack.
Soro also complained that government forces had redeployed heavy guns along the separating frontline from where they had been withdrawn, adding that the current situation was similar to what prevailed before the Ivorian launched aerial raids against NF positions on 4 November in central and northern Cote d'Ivoire.
The leader of ex-rebel groups affirmed that NF fights were prepared for any eventuality and warned that this would seriously compromise the pre-cantonment gathering of former combatants, expected to begin on 31 July.

25 july 2005 23:35:00




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