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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Probe call over Ivorian PM attack
By James Copnall
BBC News, Abidjan

Guillaume Soro
Mr Soro reached a deal with his former foe, President Gbagbo
The Ivorian authorities are to ask the UN to probe an assassination attempt against Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.

Four people died when rockets were fired at a plane carrying Mr Soro after it landed last month in Bouake, the headquarters of his former rebel group.

Mr Soro, who was unhurt, was named prime minister in April under a deal to end Ivory Coast's four-year division.

There is intense speculation about who was responsible for the attack and how it will affect the peace process.

Some blame dissident rebels, angry that their leader has joined hands with President Laurent Gbagbo.

Others allege the president's camp was behind the attack.

'Historic moment'

After a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, a number of measures were announced to reassure the country of its determination not to be deterred by the failed assassination attempt.


President Gbagbo is now scheduled to visit the northern city of Bouake, the stronghold for Mr Soro's New Forces group, on 30 July.

It will be his first visit to the north since the start of the war nearly four years ago.

If it happens it will be an historic moment, but this trip has already been postponed on several occasions.

The cabinet also decided that security will be increased throughout the country, without specifying how.

It was announced that the redeployment of the state administration to the north of the country is to be speeded up.

Civil servants are due to return to the north, controlled by the New Forces during the civil war, but there had been some speculation that the attempt on Mr Soro's life would put a halt to this plan on safety grounds.

A cabinet communiqué also explained that redeploying the administration would speed up the start of the identification programme, which will give Ivorian identity papers to the millions who do not have them.

Finally, national funerals will he held on Friday for the two bodyguards and the pair of protocol officers who were killed in June's attack.

It is still difficult to assess how big a blow the assassination attempt is for the peace process, even if the cabinet wants to give the impression that nothing will change.


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