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(AP) – A diplomat leading a visiting U.N. mission said international action was helping bring a “new beginning” to battle-scarred West Africa , as the team began work to salvage peace in war-divided Ivory Coast . British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry led other U.N. Security Council envoys in talks Tuesday with Ghana ‘s President John Kufuor, current head of a West African leaders’ bloc that has played a central role in ushering Ivory Coast ‘s neighbors, Liberia and Sierra Leone , out of their own civil wars. The 15-member delegation also was expected to visit Ivory Coast , scene of two years of conflict between northern rebels and government loyalists in the south. The country, the world’s largest cocoa producer and a regional hub, has been unable to make good on its own September 2003 peace accord. The protracted conflict threatens to further destabilize the region. Parry condemned recent violence in Ivory Coast , including a deadly flare-up Monday in rebel-held zones and killings of opposition demonstrators by government forces in March. “Any breach of the peace agreement should be condemned, and I urge all sides to collaborate with regional leaders to bring peace to the region,” Parry told reporters in Ghana ‘s capital, Accra . He noted U.N. Security Council estimates that it was spending up to 60 percent of its time on African issues, and most of that for West Africa . “While it is regrettable that the U.N. has had to spend much more time now trying to intervene in the conflict of the West Africa region, it’s also a sign of hope that its efforts are helping to chart a new beginning,” Parry said. Tens of thousands of U.N. peacekeepers are on patrol in Ivory Coast , Liberia and Sierra Leone , whose intertwined conflicts have spread guns and refugees across West Africa since fighting began in Liberia in 1989. Ivory Coast ‘s civil war broke out with a failed September 2002 attempt to oust Gbagbo. Insurgents quickly captured the country’s north and much of the west. A U.N. force is gradually building up to 6,240 troops. Both help patrol buffer zones between north and south. Ivory Coast had been a regional success story, both prosperous and peaceful, until its first-ever coup in 1999. The overthrow ushered in five years of violence and military uprisings, unleashing ethnic and regional tensions that pit the largely Christian and animist south against predominantly Muslim northerners and immigrants.