Ivory Coast: January 13, 2004


The French peacekeeping force urged the government army and police to send reinforcements to help it maintain order in the troubled west, after reporting that 18 people had been killed there in two weeks of ethnic clashes. Tension was rising in villages around the town of Bangolo (600 kilometers northwest of Abidjan), where French soldiers had found the bodies of 18 people killed in ethnic fighting since 29 December.

Bangolo lies inside the demilitarized "Zone of Confidence," just a few kilometers from the rebel frontline. Only French and West African peacekeeping troops are allowed to bear arms there, but French forces had asked the government's paramilitary gendarmerie to send reinforcements to the West to help patrol towns and villages south of the demilitarized zone (on or near the road between Duekoue, 45 km south of Bangolo, and Toulepleu on the Liberian border). - Adam Geibel


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