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The Impact Of The Ivory Coast Crisis On Neighboring Countries - 2003-02-26

Ivorian rebels are talking about a possible outbreak of violence if President Laurent Gbagbo gives key government positions, like the defense and interior portfolios, to non-political professionals instead of to the rebels, as stipulated in the Paris Peace Agreement.

Among the observers following the impact of the Ivorian crisis on the West African region as a whole is Professor Kwame Karikari, executive director of Media Foundation of West Africa. He told English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey that thousands of refugees from Mali and Burkina Faso have fled Ivory Coast, and the exodus is hurting both Ivory Coast and the refugees’ countries of origin.

Professor Karikari said Ghana is suffering from the problem to some extent, but not as much as much as Mali and Burkina Faso. He said crimes like smuggling and arms and drug trafficking are on the increase, and armed combatants are committing human rights abuses.

Professor Karikari said since the Paris Peace Agreement appears to be unworkable, it should be cancelled and renegotiated by ECOWAS.

Click the above links to download or listen to Kotey interview.