>Cote d’Ivoire: Rebel Recruitment Ring Busted


>Source: allAfrica.com

The National Security Agency is holding a former LURD fighter accused of recruiting for rebels loyal to Allassane Ouattara, the declared winner of Cote d’Ivoire’s election now in war with incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, according to court documents.

The ex-fighter, according to NSA documents, said the intent of the Liberian fighters in Ivory Coast is to bring their weapons back here, since they have concluded that ‘anything can happen in Liberia.’

Timothy Mama dee Toure, an employee of PMS Gas Station in Buchanan, is currently in prison pending trial, and his arrest provides concrete evidence of Liberians being recruited for both sides of the war in Ivory Coast.

NSA documents from the Monrovia City Court reveal that Mr. Toure said Mr. James Innis approached him in November, one year before the December polls, to recruit fighters for Ouattara rebels, receiving US$20, 000 from Mr. Innis.

On 8 January, court documents say, Innis again alerted Mr. Toure to inform him that the war has begun.

Court documents say more money changed hands between the 2 men, and that on 23 February 2011, Toure received US$20, 000 from a man he said he could not identify, with the unknown man telling him that the money was for transportation to Bahn, Nimba County, and that he recruited 2 fighters in Ganta.

Court documents say Mr. Toure escaped from Mr. Innis in Bahn, crossed over to Butuo, where he said he joined other fighters into Ivory Coast. In the Ivory Cost, according to NSA documents submitted the court detailing the activities, Toure said he and other fighters in Ivory Coast were promised US$1,500 each, US$300 paid up front and the balance US$1,200 to be paid upon return from the war front.

They were supplied military uniforms and weapons by the Ouattara group, he said, adding that he and others fought for 3 weeks. Court papers quote him as saying he also joined the Laurent Gbagbo forces after hearing that the pay there was US$20, 000. He said he left the Gbagbo forces because they were losing men, moving back to join the Ouattara forces.

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