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Ivory Coast Ruling Party Tells French Troops to Leave


Ivory Coast's ruling party is calling for 4,000 French peacekeepers in the country to leave.

The head of the Ivorian Popular Front, Pascal Affi N'Guessan, said that peace in Ivory Coast can only be achieved when French forces withdraw.

He also called late Friday, for the dissolution of a group of foreign mediators overseeing the country's struggling peace process.

French troops helped to end a civil war which erupted in 2002 after rebels tried to out President Laurent Gbagbo. Supporters of the president have accused the former colonial power of showing bias towards the rebels.

Earlier this month, President Gbagbo said that U.N. and French peacekeepers are free to leave Ivory Coast because the peace process has failed.

In addition to the French troops, about 7,000 U.N. troops are also stationed in Ivory Coast to help patrol a buffer zone between the rebel-held north and the government-controlled south.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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