African Press International (API)

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Peace ceremony scheduled for Monday in Bouake

Posted by African Press International on July 27, 2007

Bouake (Cote dIvoire) The Ivorian Prime Minister and chairman of the “Peace Flame” organising committee, Guillaume Soro, said Thursday in Bouake that five African heads of state had confirmed their full participation in this peace ceremony scheduled for Monday in Bouake, the former rebels stronghold.

“In addition to Laurent Gbagbo, Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso , Faure Gnassigbe of Togo, Yayi Boni of Benin and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa will be in Bouake on Monday 30 July. They all confirmed their arrival to me,” Soro said at a meeting mainly with the various foreign communities living in Bouake.

The leader of the former Ivorian rebel group thus asked the citizens of the countries whose presidents are due in Bouake to get ready to welcome the guests of Cote dIvoire.

“You will have to mobilise to welcome your presidents and I will urge each of them to meet with his community,” Soro said before an audience of nationals mostly from mainly Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Guinea and Niger.

“We need a better mobilisation than when we welcomed President Thabo Mbeki here in 2004 for these heads of state to remember Bouake,” he added.

The “Peace Flame”, which includes a main ceremony of weapon incineration, is one of the provisions of the Ouagadougou political agreement.

Under the mediation of Blaise Compaore, Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro signed the latter agreement on 4 March.

The peace ceremony will not only mark the end of the countrys partition but also the beginning of the disarmament process, one of the key programmes to end the crisis.

Since 19 September 2002, President Gbabo has not visited Bouake (centre) which became the capital of the rebels following their failed coup against the regime of the ruling Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).

Published by Korir, API*APN tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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