Meanwhile, the leader of the 'New Forces' (former rebels) announced that his fighters will not lay down their weapons before elections set for late next year, unless all key issues of the peace accord were met. Last week the prime minister of the national reconciliation government announced that the process would begin on 8 March. - Adam Geibel
The UN Security Council approved a resolution to set up the United Nations Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) for an initial period of 12 months. This will put 6,240 UN peacekeepers (including 200 military observers and 120 staff officers, and up to 350 civilian police officers) in the Ivory Coast, starting on April 4.