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Ivory Coast Weapons Pullback Begins


Rebels and government forces in Ivory Coast began withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line Thursday, complying with a new peace deal to end tensions in the divided nation.

The pullback, expected to last four days, includes all guns larger than 20 millimeters and short-range weaponry equal to or larger than 60 millimeters, including mortars. Anti-tank weapons will remain in place.

One rebel fighter told VOA he was happy to see the repeatedly postponed disarmament process begin, adding that he hopes to become a police officer once the two-year-old conflict is finally over.

Several peace deals have failed to take hold in Ivory Coast. Rebels still hold huge swaths of territory in northern and western Ivory Coast, with the government firmly in control of the south.

Some information for this report provided by AP.