Cote d’Ivoire

The government army and rebel forces occupying the north of Cote d'Ivoire each withdrew from frontline positions close to the French-patrolled buffer zone between them on Friday ahead of talks on disarmament next week. Hardline youth groups supporting President Laurent Gbagbo meanwhile ended four days of protest demonstrations outside the French military base near Abidjan airport, where they had been demanding the departure of French peacekeepers from the frontline so that government forces more

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has warned that Cote d'Ivoire could "slip back into conflict" as five West African governments began lobbying for a fully fledged UN peacekeeping force to be sent to the country. Annan told the UN Security Council in New York on Monday that he was "deeply concerned" by a two-month-old impasse between President Laurent Gbagbo and rebels occupying the north of Cote d'Ivoire.

A shortage of food and medical aid is threatening the lives of several thousands of displaced people living in Côte d’Ivoire’s administrative capital, Yamoussoukro, a Catholic nun told IRIN on Thursday. Yamoussoukro, 266 km north of Abidjan and an hour away from the rebel-held town of Bouake, has some 27,500 internally displaced people (IDPs) living in 4 major camps and with host families.

Côte d’Ivoire’s rebels rolled out a massive display of heavy weapons in Bouake, 379 km north of the commercial capital, Abidjan on Tuesday, hours after declaring a state of emergency in areas under their control. They said their actions were in response to government preparations to launch attacks on their positions.

The former ruling party in Cote d'Ivoire is threatening to withdraw from the reconciliation government, accusing President Laurent Gbagbo of human rights violations. The threat comes as northern-based rebels are refusing to take back their seats in the government.