Ivory Coast: November 21, 2003


Another diplomatic scramble has begun to defuse rebel threats. The Ivorian President met with France's foreign minister in Gabon, after which President Gbagbo would head from to Mali and then Burkina Faso. Luckily for all involved, there has been no fighting for the last six months and the biggest problem remains criminal activities.

France maintains a 4,000-strong contingent of peacekeepers that monitors the ceasefire while keeping the army and rebels apart. The French had heard about the rebel declarations of renewed violence but were not sure exactly what they planned to do. It was unclear if the French were referring to the rebels, or themselves.

On the 17th, French President Jacques Chirac reiterated the need to "swiftly and fully" implement the Paris Marcoussis accord and the week before, the European Union said that it would continue to withhold aid to Ivory Coast until it saw real "progress" in the process. - Adam Geibel


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