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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
No deal at Ivorian crisis talks
By James Copnall
BBC News, Yamoussoukro

Political rivals meet sit around a table in Yamoussoukro, 5 Sept
The polls due in October will have to be postponed
Ivory Coast's political leaders have failed to agree on how to end the country's political deadlock.

Ivory Coast has been in crisis since the New Forces rebels seized the north of the country four years ago.

This was meant to be Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny's triumph: talks in which Ivory Coast's divided political class would finally reach agreement.

But after several hours of discussions the prime minister found he had no breakthrough to proclaim.

Instead he announced several minor technical details on which agreement had been found and closed the meeting.

'Disappointment'

Afterwards, a rebel spokesman admitted what had become painfully clear.

"We were not able to agree," he said.

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The leaders, who included President Laurent Gbagbo, opposition leaders Henri Konan-Bedie and Alassane Ouattara, and rebel chief Guillaume Soro did discuss the problems with the peace process.

These include the disputed issues of disarmament, the elections and identification - the programme to give Ivorian identity cards to the millions who do not have them.

However, no substantial solutions were found.

Mr Konan Banny was appointed by the international community to bring the country to free and fair elections.

But it has become evident to all that the elections due in October will have to be postponed.

President Gbagbo's mandate runs out then and the opposition has demanded that he step down.

The prime minister said the issue had not been discussed - yet another disappointment from a meeting that revealed just how divided Ivory Coast still is.

The United Nations will also consider these key themes in two weeks' time.


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