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Call for cocoa export ban in Ivory Coast

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Call for cocoa export ban in Ivory Coast


There is a call for a month-long ban on cocoa exports from Ivory Coast, to pile more financial pressure on incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.
There are already sanctions on Gbagbo’s backers. Yesterday an ally was forced to resign from the regional central bank.
But it is not clear how the export ban can be enforced, given Gbagbo’s control of institutions including the ports and military.
The call comes from the internationally-recognised winner of November’s presidential election, Alassane Ouattara.
He is locked in a power struggle with Gbagbo, who refuses to step down.
There is also talk of military action. But a spokesman for Gbagbo dismissed this as a bluff, saying there is no justification for the use of an international force in Ivory Coast.
Ouattara is protected by a ring of UN peacekeepers.
The two men have named rival governments to run the country and Ouattara has set up his headquarters in a hotel in Abidjan.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister has called on the UN to authorise its troops to use “legitimate” force, clarifying this does not necessarily mean conflict, but could include blockades to reinforce sanctions.

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