Monday, October 17, 2005


French suspend general over death.

Gen Poncet led 'Operation Unicorn' for more than a year. The former commander of French troops in Ivory Coast has been suspended for allegedly covering up the death of an Ivorian held by French forces. Gen Henri Poncet and two other soldiers - who were also suspended - committed "serious breaches" of military law and orders, the defence ministry said.

The death occurred in May, when the three were stationed in Ivory Coast as part of France's peacekeeping mission. Gen Poncet commanded the force from May 2004 to June this year. The 4,000-strong French contingent, supported by UN troops, is enforcing a fragile truce between northern rebels and the government.

The country has been divided in half since the rebels tried to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo in September 2002.


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