BOUAKE, 1 November 2005 (IRIN) – “We needed a war because we needed our identity cards,” explained rebel fighter Adama Traore, one of thousands of rebels who control the northern half of Cote d’Ivoire. “Without an identity card you are nothing in this country.” The 23-year-old used to work with a local aid agency improving healthcare but he picked up a Kalashnikov when the war started three years ago to take up another more important service, he says — the fight for equal rights for all Ivorians. “We are badly treated. Plenty of northerners have been killed, beaten or given a hard time for nothing,” he told IRIN near the rebel stronghold of Bouake, as he took a break from manning a checkpoint on the main road that runs south into government-controlled territory.
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