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Vol 55 No 4

Published 21st February 2014

Côte d'Ivoire

The price of peace

Ouattara’s government has been paying Liberian mercenaries to keep a truce, while others are on trial in Monrovia. It is proving a major political headache in Liberia

Côte d’Ivoire’s Great West region has been the site of deadly violence since civil conflict followed President Alassane Dramane Ouattara’s election victory over Laurent Gbagbo in November 2010. Liberian-based militias loyal to Gbagbo carried out a swathe of killings and even continued to fight after his capture, slipping across the un-policed 700-kilometre border. Their most notorious attack came in June 2012 and cost the lives of seven United Nations peacekeepers and eleven civilians (AC Vol 53 No 13, Warlords at work). Leaders in both countries are racked by sensitive dilemmas in trying to keep the peace. Liberia has put some of the mercenary soldiers on trial in Monrovia, while Côte d’Ivoire has been paying warlords not to launch attacks.

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