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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 19:23 GMT 20:23 UK
In pictures: Peace in Ivory Coast

South Africa's Thabo Mbeki arrives at Bouake airport

Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo (R) greeted African leaders including South Africa's Thabo Mbeki (second right) amid tight security at Bouake airport in northern Ivory Coast on Monday.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro (L) and Mr Gbagbo (R) are pictured holding hands at Bouake airport

The day, which was dubbed the peace flame ceremony, marked a public rapprochement for former foes, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro (L) and Mr Gbagbo (R).

A former rebel fighter surveys a collection of soon-to-be destroyed guns

Former rebels from the New Forces group, who had controlled much of the Ivory Coast's north for the past five years, handed in a pile of guns to be destroyed at the ceremony.

Ivorian Prime Minister Guillaume Soro (L) and Mr Gbagbo (second left) light the flame of peace

The "flame of peace", which will be carried to all 19 regions of Ivory Coast to symbolise the country's reunification, was used to set the weapons alight.

A boy looks on as a skip full of weapons is destroyed

The destruction of the guns was meant to signify the cessation of hostilities between the New Forces rebels and government troops.

A crowd struggles to board a bus in Abidjan, southern Ivory Coast

On Sunday, supporters of the president, known as the Young Patriots, had difficulties getting from the country's largest city, Abidjan, to Bouake and were dispersed by riot police.


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