Ivorian opposition maintains protest march

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Seven out of 10 signatory parties of the Linas-Marcoussis and Accra II peace agreements "G7" on Wednesday evening maintained their protest march scheduled Thursday in Abidjan to press for the full implementation of the accords.
"The demonstration stands for the same reasons which motivated our original decision.
We held lengthy discussions with President John Kufuor who effectively played his role as a mediator.
"We tried to save whatever was possible but there was no agreement," stated the loose opposition's coalition spokesman Alphonse Djedje Mady, after a seven hour-encounter with the Ghanaian president.
Mady is the secretary general of the former sole party, the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire.
Kufuor, the current ECOWAS chairman, listened to all the Marcoussis agreement signatories, including representatives of the ruling Ivorian Popular Front (IFP) and former President Henri Konan Bédié and the committee following-up the accord's implementation.
The worst is to be feared following the decision by proponents of the Marcoussis agreement to maintained the protest march, in spite of last ditch mediation efforts by Kufuor backed by the Nigerian foreign minister Oluyemi Adeniji.
President Laurent Gbagbo has issued a decree banning all public demonstrations until 30 April.
Meanwhile, commanders of the Republican Guard and the presidential protection unit have threatened to shoot on sight any marchers who will approach the presidential palace in the Plateau business area, which has been declared a "red zone".

24 march 2004 23:01:00

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