Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:18 UK

Ivory Coast election date is set

File pic of Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro
Ivory Coast PM Guillaume Soro said the November date was realistic

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has confirmed the nation will hold a presidential election on 29 November after more than four years of delays.

The BBC correspondent in the commercial capital, Abidjan, says it may prove a significant breakthrough after years of civil unrest and political wrangling.

A civil war in 2002 split the country between a rebel-held north and a government-controlled south.

A United Nations-backed peace process brokered a national unity government.

But delays in voter registration and arguments over who is eligible to vote have led to the postponement of several previous election deadlines.

The West African state has put off elections several times since President Laurent Gbagbo's mandate expired in October 2005.

The former French colony, the world's top cocoa grower, was torn apart in 2002 when Mr Soro's New Forces rebels launched an insurgency and took control of the mainly Muslim north of the country.

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