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Cote d’Ivoire20 March 2003

Journalists found dead in western region

The body of Kloueu Gonzreu, correspondent for the state-owned Agence ivoirienne de presse (AIP), was found on 19 March in the western region of Toulépleu, according to the International Red Cross. He had been missing since 11 January and several sources said he had been arrested by Liberians fighting alongside pro-government forces.

Reporters Without Borders repeated its call to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to thoroughly and urgently investigate the case. Its similar appeal to him last month was met with silence.

The pro-government paper Notre Pays accused Gonzreu on 30 January of favouring the rebels in the country’s civil conflict and said the people of Toulépleu "continued to be suspicious of him." Reporters Without Borders has frequently criticised pro-government Ivorian papers for fanning the flames and endangering the lives of people they name.

Gonzreu, 51, had worked for AIP since July 2000. He also taught history and geography and worked for the local branch of the Red Cross. The body of his 19-year-old son Thierry and those of two other Red Cross volunteers were also found.

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