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New government gives hope to Ivory Coast

New government gives hope to Ivory Coast
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Ivory Coast appears to have taken another step towards lasting stability with the formation of a new government by President Laurent Gbagbo.

It is led by rebel chief Guillaume Soro. The setting up of the administration follows on from a deal between Gbagbo and Soro last month in which the guerrillas agreed to disarm. Both sides also committed to elections in within 10 months.

A year-long civil war in the west African country ended in 2003 but tensions have been simmering since.

The latest initiative has raised hopes that the wounds of that conflict could now
be healed.

One rebel leader who is now a minister in the new cabinet said there was a determination to see the peace process would have a happy ending.

Under the agreement UN peacekeepers will begin pulling out by the middle of April. Government and rebel forces will deploy a joint force to replace the UN troops.

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