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Ivory Coast Militias Set New Disarmament Date

Officials in Ivory Coast say pro-government militias have promised to begin disarming on June 16 after missing a Thursday deadline to lay down their weapons.

Militia leaders said they needed more time to inform their members about the process.

The disarmament of pro-government militias is to be the first step of a broader disarmament that includes rebel and government troops. Ivory Coast has yet to set a date for the rebels and soldiers to give up their guns.

Both sides have missed disarmament dates in the past, blaming each other for the delays.

Disarmament is key to a United Nations-backed peace plan that calls for national elections in October.

The west African country has been divided into rebel and government-held areas since a 2002 civil war.

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