Ivorian rebels warn ECOWAS troops

Bouake- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Cote d'Ivoire's rebel Patriotic Movement (MPCI) Friday warned ECOWAS peacekeeping troops due for deployment to the troubled country by 31 December, against "any attempt to violate" the 17 October cease-fire agreement.
The MPCI signed the cease-fire accord brokered by ECOWAS as part of efforts to resolve the Ivorian crisis, which erupted 19 September.
"If ECOWAS acts like the French troops by overstepping their mandate as a buffer force, this would be considered as a backing of the mercenaries of (President) Laurent Gbagbo and his genocidal regime," said MPCI spokesman Sidiki Konate.
ECOWAS plans to deploy a 1,264-strong peace monitoring force to replace French soldiers in Cote d'Ivoire.
The MPCI also warned that "any force that attempts to violate the frontline would be viewed as an enemy.
" Saying it had not received the peace plan promised by the Ivorian government, the MPCI still insists on Gbagbo's departure as well as new elections, revision of the national Constitution, the land code, and rejected the "Ivoirite" concept.
According to Konate, "these are the only proposals that the three rebel movements consider necessary for a lasting solution to the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire.

27 december 2002 20:25:00

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