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
Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 09:10 GMT
Ivory Coast peace moves falter
Rebel leader Guillaume Soro (l) is met in Accra by Foreign Minister Hackman Owusu-Agyemang
The rebels insist they will not back down
Talks between Ivory Coast's new prime minister and northern rebel leaders have failed to reach agreement on salvaging a peace deal to end five months of conflict.

They had been invited by Ghana's President John Kufuor to discuss rebel participation in a coalition government for Ivory Coast.
We realise there is an impasse that we must break through, sooner rather than later

Sidiki Konate, rebel spokesman

The issue threatens to derail the agreement reached at peace negotiations in France last month.

Rebels maintain that the deal promised them key ministries, but Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo - who also signed the accord - insists he must have the final say on government appointments.

Protesters in Abidjan
The French-brokered deal has sparked furious protests in Abidjan

The main northern rebel group - the Patriotic Movement of Ivory Coast (MCPI) has given Mr Gbagbo until midnight on Sunday (local time) to appoint its nominees to the cabinet or face an attack on the commercial capital, Abidjan.

Two rebel factions based in western Ivory Coast did not send representatives to the talks in the capital of neighbouring Ghana, the current head of the regional grouping Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States).

Meanwhile, in a boost in Abidjan for Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, the former ruling PCDI - the biggest party in parliament - broke ranks with other leading parties by urging that the French-brokered accord be implemented in full.

Closed-door

The Ghanaian president chaired the meeting between Mr Diarra - who was formally appointed earlier this week - and three representatives of the MPCI.

Seydou Diarra
Diarra, a northern Muslim, was chosen by Gbagbo
A Ghanaian spokesman was quoted as saying President Kufuor was "more determined than ever before" to see to a speedy and peaceful resolution of the issues, "and he will go any length to achieve the required consensus for the way forward."

Rebel spokesman, Sidiki Konate, was quoted by Reuters news agency after the talks as saying: "We realise there is an impasse that we must break through, sooner rather than later."

Officials said the sides planned to return home separately on Saturday after spending the night in Accra.

The talks followed a second rebel warning in a week that fighting would resume if President Gbagbo failed to implement January's deal including them in a unity government.

They have also said that if need be, they are prepared to take on French troops currently deployed in Ivory Coast to protect western nationals and monitor a shaky ceasefire.

Victims of conflict

The rebels insist that under the deal, they were promised the defence and interior portfolios - a prospect that triggered two weeks of riots by pro-government supporters in Abidjan.

 Laurent Gbagbo (r) and Seydou Diarra
Gbabgo's supporters say they will not accept rebels in the government
In a long-awaited national address last week, Mr Gbagbo said the make-up of the new government had not been decided and that his decision on the issue was final.

The MPCI took control of northern Ivory Coast after fighting followed a failed coup against President Gbagbo in September.

Other factions later emerged in the west of the country and took territory.

It is estimated that thousands of people have been killed and more than one million forced to leave their homes.


Key stories

In pictures

Analysis
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