April 14, 2011
ABIDJAN, Ivory CoastIvory Coast President Alassane Ouattara on April 9 signed an order ending the countrys nearly 4-month ban on exports that nearly crippled the countrys cocoa industry and sent cocoa prices soaring internationally.
The cocoa export ban was imposed Jan. 23 by presidential claimant Ouattara to cut off funding for the incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo who refused to step down after he lost the election in November 2010. Gbagbo was captured and arrested April 8 by Ivory Coast forces, and Ouattara formally took power of the African nation that is the worlds largest cocoa producer.
AFP is reporting approximately 400,000 tons of cocoa have accumulated at the Abidjan and San Pedro ports, and the new government issued a statement that exports of the raw material used to make chocolate would resume immediately.
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