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Ivory Coast Mediator: Warring Sides Will Move Ahead with Cease-Fire Plan - 2002-10-13

In Ivory Coast, a West African mediator trying to broker a cease-fire between the Ivorian government and rebels says he is optimistic that a new peace proposal will be accepted by both sides. His comment follows the second round of talks Sunday with rebel commanders.

Following a three-hour discussion in the central rebel-held city of Bouake, Senegal's foreign minister, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, told reporters the warring sides have agreed to move ahead with a new cease-fire plan, aimed at ending the nearly month-long rebellion.

Details of the plan are not known. But Mr. Gadio said the agreement would include a provision for further dialogue and the freezing of front lines. Meetings are set to continue on Monday.

The mediators held separate meetings with the rebels and Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. It was the second straight day of talks with both sides, as regional leaders scrambled to avert an all-out civil war.

Rebels Sunday advanced further to the south, capturing the strategically key western cocoa town of Daloa. They now control more than half the country the world's largest cocoa producer.