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As the UN continues to patrol the streets of Ivory Coast, West African leaders have reportedly agreed on a plan for military intervention.

The French news agency AFP reports that a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States has endorsed a plan to remove incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo by force.

The plan, drawn up with military chiefs, would come into action if diplomatic efforts by ECOWAS leaders do not work.

The newly-appointed UN ambassador representing Alassane Ouattara, the presidential challenger recognised internationally as the victor of recent elections, has warned of a possible genocide in his country.

Gbagbo is refusing to step aside for Ouattara, who is holed up in a hotel in Abidjan.

Paris has urged French families to leave Ivory Coast temporarily for their own safety.

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