Forces loyal to UN-backed President-claimant Alassane Ouattara surrounded and attacked Laurent Gbagbo’s home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital this morning, according to The New York Times.
Hundreds of people have been killed since Gbagbo refused to secede power after losing presidential elections in November 2010.
A spokesman for Gbagbo has denied rumours that he has fled the country, according to Bloomberg. He issued a statement on Radio France Internationale saying:
“He is on Ivoirian territory, he has no intention of resigning.”
Ouattara’s forces have now been cautioned by the UN and warned against committing human rights abuses. Residents have reported looting and attacks on civilians in the city and French forces have rescued 500 foreigners in the town and relocated them to a military camp according to the New York Times report.
Ouattara had extended a ban on cocoa exports on March 28 but with Gbagbo cornered, it seems likely that Ivory Coast’s civil war will draw to an end and exports will resume. Cocoa futures have dropped 9.4% in the last 10 days and have steadily declined since March as the markets expect cocoa to become readily available.
Note, cocoa prices have fallen back to December levels.