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Human Rights Watch Says Ivory Coast Recruiting Liberian Child Soldiers


An international human rights group says Ivory Coast's government is recruiting Liberian children for its army in anticipation of renewed fighting with rebel forces.

Human Rights Watch says Ivorian army officers and former Liberian commanders have been in Liberian border towns also seeking ex-combatants to fight in the Ivorian army.

The New York-based group says children have been offered as much as $400 by Liberian commanders to fight for the Ivorian government.

The allegations come as tensions mount over a recent United Nations resolution allowing President Laurent Gbagbo to remain in power for another year.

Rebels rejected the resolution, saying they would consider Mr. Gbagbo a coup leader if he stays in power past his elected five-year mandate, which ended on Wednesday.

Under a peace deal, Ivory Coast was to hold presidential elections this Sunday, October 30, but the vote was postponed due to problems organizing the balloting.

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