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Ivory Coast Prime Minister Appeals for War's End

The Ivory Coast National Unity Prime Minister Seydou Diarra has asked for President Laurent Gbagbo to declare the end of hostilities with northern rebels, amid stalled peacemaking efforts.

Mr. Diarra says he made his appeal to send a strong signal to take divided Ivory Coast back on track towards peace.

Mr. Gbagbo responded by asking Mr. Diarra to give him more input on the tone, timing and content of the statement. The exchange took place during a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

It follows a failed mediation visit this week by South African President Thabo Mbeki who was hoping to bring the rebels and Mr. Gbagbo back into dialogue to pave the way for disarmament.

Rebels have refused to disarm, accusing Mr. Gbagbo of failing to properly implement successive peace deals.

Thursday, opposition leaders held a joint meeting in Abidjan, expressing frustration at what they called the unwillingness for peace.

One member of this coalition, known locally as the G-7, is Alassane Salif N'Diaye.

"We don't the war,” he said. “We are working for the peace. All things we are doing now is for the peace and we are sure if everybody really wants peace we have together to apply Linas-Marcoussis agreement and Accra Three agreements. Now for us it's not in our mind to see again Cote d'Ivoire in the war."

The developments also come as the former head of the armed forces, Mathias Doue, and the former head of the air force, Yapo Seka, have apparently gone missing.

Their cell phones have been turned off and some of their aides say they don't know where they are.

General Doue was seeking to travel outside the country after his dismissal, but according to his aides, he has not yet received a visa to travel. An editorial in a newspaper favorable to Mr. Gbagbo Friday, says Mr. Doue staged his own disappearance to stir up trouble.

The two men were dismissed in mid-November shortly after French peacekeeping forces ended protests and riots in the government-held south and aerial attacks in the rebel-held north, by firing on protesters and destroying Ivorian military aircraft.