Ivory Coast: March 4, 2003


A national unity government in the Ivory Coast is supposed to take over on March 10, but defense officials on both sides of the Liberian border reported renewed fighting as proxy groups attacked small towns. The Ivorian army made an "appropriate response" on March 1 to an attack by "mostly English-speaking enemy forces" near Toulepleu, some 20 km south of Bin-Houye. This is a dangerous development, since the Liberian government has ordered the full redeployment of troops withdrawn from the area several months ago. The Liberians have also not ruled out sending troops into the Ivory Coast to deal with the invaders. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also noted that Liberian rebels could engulf the whole of West Africa in an economic and humanitarian crisis.


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