Representatives of the Ivory Coast government and rebel soldiers signed a peace agreement in Bouake on Thursday, putting an end to three weeks of bitter fighting.
The agreement was signed in the presence of the Senegalese Foreign Minister, Chiekh Tidiane Gadio and Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the secretary-general of the West African Economic Community, which is to send an armed peace mission to the region.
Ibn Chambas declared to journalists that “This is the first step towards a return to peace in the Ivory Coast” and added that the rebel soldiers were prepared to hold discussions with the government.
The rebellion broke out on 29th September, after President Laurent Gbagbo signed a decree which would pass a significant number of soldiers into reserve, meaning that they would start to receive meagre pensions.
Extreme dissatisfaction has been shown by the common citizens in Ivory Coast at the salaries received by the government officials, which are paramount to those of European Heads of State.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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