Friday, December 19, 2003

Cote d'Ivoire: who's in charge of New Forces?

A group of rebel fighters in Ivory Coast broke into a television station on Friday and declared an exiled soldier, long seen as the secret mastermind of the rebellion, their new leader.

..."All talks, all decisions between the New Forces and third parties cannot take place without the effective presence of Sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly. As a result, any other decision is null and void," said a spokesman for the fighters called Bamba Kassoum, known as "Kass," in the rebel stronghold of Bouake.

...The statement read out by the spokesman said the insurgents supported [Guillaume] Soro's efforts to find a solution to the West African country's crisis but made no mention of [Soumaila] Bakayoko, the man who earlier this month signed an agreement paving the way for the eventual disarmament of rebel fighters.

... IB [Ibrahim Coulibaly] was among a group of suspected mercenaries detained in Paris in August on suspicion of plotting to kill Gbagbo. (link)
Here is the post on Coulibaly and the arrests in France from this past August.