Ivory Coast to repatriate fighters loyal to ex-president from Togo

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An Ivory Coast government spokesman says more than 200 fighters loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo will be repatriated from Togo.

Bruno Kone said the fighters include members of Gbagbo's Defense and Security Forces and pro-Gbagbo militiamen who fled to Togo toward the end of Ivory Coast's 2010-11 postelection conflict. The conflict began after Gbagbo refused to leave office despite losing the November 2010 vote to current President Alassane Ouattara.

Kone said the fighters will be disarmed and demobilized.

He did not provide a date for the operation, saying it could start "at any time."

Ouattara first mentioned the repatriation publicly last weekend during a trip to western Ivory Coast, a region that generally supported Gbagbo and has remained volatile in the two years since the conflict ended.