BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 00:35 GMT 01:35 UK
Frustration rises at Ivorian truce delays
French soldiers' position in Tiebissou
Troops have secured the front-line town of Tiebissou
West African mediators say they will abandon their mission in the Ivory Coast if the government again fails to sign a ceasefire with rebels.

The mediators, including six foreign ministers, had flown halfway across the country for the signing ceremony on Saturday, only to discover that there was no government official present who was authorised to sign the document.

The BBC's Paul Welsh, who was on the plane, said ministers were very frustrated, and the Ghanaian envoy accused the government of "foot-dragging".

The mediators say they will leave the country if the signing, now scheduled for Sunday after setbacks on Friday and Saturday, is cancelled for a third time.

The ceasefire is aimed at ending an uprising which started on 19 September and which has claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands displaced.

Rebel demands

Our correspondent says the government only agreed to talks under pressure from the mediation teams sent by neighbouring countries and has been preparing for an offensive to recapture the rebel-held north.

The rebels have been calling for the overthrow of President Laurent Gbagbo and for fresh elections in which all political parties would be allowed to participate.

Many of the rebels come from the largely Muslim north of the country and have long complained of discrimination by Christian southerners.

Sunday's ceremony is supposed to take place in Tiebissou, effectively the front line since rebels took control of northern areas 17 days ago.

Mediators were deployed in the hope of stopping the violence escalating into a full-blown civil war.

However, correspondents say it remains unclear whether either side would stick to the ceasefire, were it ever to be signed.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Paul Welsh
"People continue to flee the rebel-held areas"
Communications Minister, Serge Bailly
"Democracy cannot function with guns, no matter how powerful"

Key stories

In pictures

Analysis
See also:

03 Oct 02 | Africa
02 Oct 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes