Thursday, April 01, 2004

Cote d'Ivoire: minister blames "parallel forces" for continued violence

Government security minister Martin Bleou blames non-government forces, wearing government soldier uniforms, for the continued violence in the country since the opposition demonstration was put down last week.
"The combat uniform is no longer the distinctive mark of the defence and security forces.

"Individuals and parallel forces who comb some areas hide their true identities behind the defence and security forces and try, by doing so, to spread confusion," he said.
France has also agreed to conduct joint patrols with Ivorian forces to try and restore order. The government has also said it welcomes international investigation of the latest violence.

An advance party of UN peacekeepers is already on the ground. (More on the decision to send peacekeepers here.)