[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gbagboci.jpg”]
UPDATE: Gbagbo has discussed surrendering and asked for UN protection, according to documents seen by Reuters.Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast’s sitting president, is said to be negotiating his departure after his forces surrendered today to elected President Ouattara. General Philippe Mangou, Laurent Gbagbo’s military chief, called for a ceasefire Tuesday morning after days of clashes in Ivory Coast’s city of Abidjan, according to Reuters.
Pro-Ouattara forces began their attack on the city and the presidential palace 5 days ago. Hundreds of people have been killed since Gbagbo refused to step down after losing presidential elections in November 2010.
In a statement today President Obama said Gbagbo must step down immediately:
I strongly support the role that United Nations peacekeepers are playing as they enforce their mandate to protect civilians, and I welcome the efforts of French forces who are supporting that mission… To end this violence and prevent more bloodshed, former President Gbagbo must stand down immediately, and direct those who are fighting on his behalf to lay down their arms…
French foreign minister Alan Juppe said the international community is negotiating with Gbagbo and expects him to sign a document recognising Ouattara as President before he is allowed to leave the country, according to Reuters.
Cocoa exports may resume on resolution of the crisis and prices continue to fall as the it comes to a close.