Christians in Ivory Coast fear an Islamic insurrection could succeed in creating a Muslim state in the African nation after the signing of a French-brokered peace accord that gives important positions of power to rebels.
The majority Christian population in the south views the deal as capitulation to political and military leaders in the Muslim north who last September abandoned the democratic process and resorted to violent means in order to achieve power, according to the British charity Barnabas Fund. The peace plan calls for a government of national unity in which rebels would hold the key interior and defense posts.
Hundreds of people have been killed in four months of violence and more than a million internally displaced. Since the agreement was announced, Jan. 25, Abidjan and other parts of the Ivory Coast have seen widespread protests almost daily.