Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Ceasefire signed with western rebel groups

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LOME, 13 January (IRIN) - The government of Côte d'Ivoire and the two western rebel groups have signed a ceasefire in Lome, two days ahead of the much-anticipated Paris roundtable slated for Wednesday.
The 10-point agreement stipulated that the government and the Mouvement pour la Justice et la Paix (Justice and Peace Movement and the Mouvement Populaire Ivoirien pour le Grand-Ouest (MPIGO- Ivorian Popular Movement for the Great West) pledged to stop fighting so to allow a comprehensive ceasefire agreement and peace accord to be reached at the Paris meeting. Among other points, the parties agreed that the ceasefire would go into effect at midnight on Monday; accepted the deployment of West African troops, alongside French troops; pledged to allow the free circulation of persons and goods. The MJP and MPIGO, represented by their most well-known leaders, confirmed through the agreement that they would attend Wednesday's meeting to which all major political parties have been invited.

The Ivorian government was represented by Laurent Dona-Fologo.

The ceasefire represented the second signed since the beginning of the conflict. The first one was signed on 17 October 2002 by MPCI, under supervision the Economic Community of West African States, who was represented by one of its leaders, Tuo Fozie. President Gnassingbe Eyadema also attended the ceremony, as well as ECOWAS' secretary-general.

The MJP and the MPIGO, who sprung out of the western area in late November, have fought both against French troops stationed out west and the Ivorian national army in recent weeks.

For more IRIN coverage of the Ivorian crisis please go to http://www.irinnews.org/frontpage.asp?SelectRegion=West=5FAfrica&SelectCountry=Cote=5Fd=5FIvoire

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