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Ivory Coast's Gbagbo rebuffs AU call to quit

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo rebuffs AU call to quit
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Ivory Coast’s disputed leader Laurent Gbabgo on Thursday rejected an African Union proposal that he step down to solve the country’s political crisis.

Gbagbo has refused to cede power after being declared the loser of November’s presidential election in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer.

A Gbagbo aide dismissed the proposal to resign as “unacceptable.”

The incumbent president boycotted the meeting in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia but his rival Alassane Ouattara left Abidjan to attend. With Ouattara out of the country, Gbagbo moved to tighten his grip at home. His government has banned all overflight and landings by United Nations and French aircraft.

Some 370 people have been killed since the contested November 28 poll.

The election was supposed to heal political divisions in Ivory Coast, which has been effectively split in two since a 2002 civil war.