Gbagbo nationalizes cocoa in Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo has announced on state TV that the government will now be the only entity authorized to buy or sell coffee and cocoa, the country's two main exports.

The move to nationalize the country's lucrative cocoa and coffee sectors comes as financial sanctions begin to take effect against the rogue leader who has refused to leave office. International pressure has resulted in a ban on cocoa exports and Gbagbo has also been frozen out of the state's accounts at the regional central bank.

The decree made public late Monday states: "The purchase and sale of coffee and cocoa will be undertaken exclusively by the state."

It's unclear how nationalizing the sector will help the Gbagbo government, with the ban on cocoa exports already in effect. - AP

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