Ivorian military forces agree to suppress buffer zones

Abidjan- Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) – Ivorian army chief Brigadier--general Philippe Mangou, and his New Forces Armed Forces (FAFN) counterpart, General Soumaila Bakayoko, late Wednesday at the United Nations Operations office in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI) in Abidjan, signed an accord on the suppression of the buffer zone due to be implemented on 16 April.
The accord was initialled by the two officials and witnessed by Brigadier generals Marcel Amoussou and Antoine Lecerf, chief commanders respectively of the ONUCI and the French force Licorne.
The accord, drafted by the ONUCI military experts, provides for the gradual transfer of the duty to man the buffer zone- which is currently being monitored by the 'Neutral Forces' comprising some 7, 800 UN peacekeepers and 3,500 French soldiers- to a joint patrol made up of about 20 troops each from FDS and FAFN under the supervision of four UN non-commissioned police officers.
Command posts will be halved every two months until the full suppression of the zone in December to give way to the general elections in accordance with the Inter-Ivorian Ouagadougou peace Accord signed on 4 March in the Burkinabe capital by President Laurent Gbagbo and the former rebel New Forces' leader, Soro Guillaume, who was named prime minister.
The accord also sets the calendar for the re-deployment of the former fighters, disarmament, and demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme.

12 april 2007 18:52:00

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