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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