- Title: IVORY COAST: New prime minister Guillame Soro , takes over in Ivory Coast
- Date: 11th April 2007
- Summary: (AD1) ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (APRIL 4, 2007) (REUTERS) CHARLES KONAN BANNY (FIRST), FORMER PRIME MINISTER, AND GUILLAUME SORE (SECOND), NEW PRIME MINISTER, ENTERING IN THE HALL VIEW OF HALL JOURNALISTS BANNY (LEFT) AND SORO (RIGHT) SITTING WITH DOCUMENT IN FRONT OF THEM DOCUMENTS SAYING IN FRENCH "PROJECT PLAN TO RESOLVE THE CRISIS" (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHARLES KONAN BANNY, IVORIAN FORMER PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "My greatest regret is that I was not able to finish by organising the elections which were promised to our citizens." SORO LISTENING SORO RECEIVING THE DOCUMENT FROM CHARLES KONAN BANNY CLOSE UP ON THE DOCUMENT (SOUNDBITE) (French) GUILLAUME SORO, IVORIAN PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "The Ouagadougou Agreement that we have, the mission to implement and transform into a concrete success, rests on this foundation where we come together with our differences and our diversities, so that we can take our country, Ivory Coast, towards peace and democracy for the happiness of all." VARIOUS OF BANNY AND SORO SIGNING DOCUMENTS DELEGATION LEAVING THE HALL
- Embargoed: 26th April 2007 13:00
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5VU32L7N7EK5B15BZYC3JJG9
- Story Text: Guillame Soro who leads Ivory Coast's rebel New Forces has taken over premiership of the West African country from Konan Banny. Soro's appointment is part of the latest attempt to resolve the conflict that has divided Ivory Coast since 2002.
Guillaume Soro, the rebel leader who has controlled northern Ivory Coast for the past four years, took office as the country's new prime minister Wednesday (April 5) in a ceremony marking the first step in a peace accord.
Charles Konan Banny, the outgoing prime minister, handed Soro a folder of documents, detailing the tasks left to be completed.
"My greatest regret is that I was not able to finish by organising the elections which were promised to our citizens," Banny said.
Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, has been divided since an attempted coup set off a brief civil war in 2002. There have been numerous failed peace deals, though international observers hold out hope that the most recent agreement signed last month may be effective. The accord called for Soro, who heads the New Forces rebels, to be named prime minister and for elections to be held within 10 months.
His inauguration marks the first step toward instituting a peace plan that Ivorians hope will finally reunify the country.
"The Ouagadougou Agreement that we have, the mission to implement and transform into a concrete success, rests on this foundation where we come together with our differences and our diversities, so that we can take our country, Ivory Coast, towards peace and democracy for the happiness of all," Soro said.
About 9,000 U.N. troops and 3,500 French soldiers are deployed in Ivory Coast, many patrolling the giant buffer zone that runs east to west, dividing the country in half.
President Laurent Gbagbo and Soro promised to organize a completely new government within five weeks and to reduce the buffer zone to a collection of checkpoints.
They also agreed to start disarmament and to issue identification cards necessary for Ivorians to register to vote. The identity documents are an especially sensitive issue, because disputes over who was entitled to citizenship helped fuel the war.
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