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UN mission reports tension high in western Côte d'Ivoire and rising in the east

1 March 2005 Senior United Nations peacekeeping officials met President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire today to discuss security after a group of armed young men attacked a rebel-held village in the west of the country yesterday and UN peacekeepers restored calm.

Alan Doss, the acting head of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), and Force Commander Gen. Abdoulaye Fall observed that the attack showed that the militias are armed and fighting.

Tension was also rising in the east of the country, and Gen. Fall hoped to meet his counterparts in the French Licorne peacekeeping force and the Côte d'Ivoire force.

The UN mission was concerned that any further deterioration in security would only increase the need for humanitarian assistance in the affected areas.

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