The disputed presidential election in the Ivory Coast, the world's top supplier of cocoa, began coming to a close on Tuesday when forces loyal to the incumbent president who has tenaciously refused to leave office began laying down their arms, CNN reports.
After days of heavy fighting following the late November election, Laurent Gbagbo was reportedly negotiating his surrender, the news service quoted his foreign minister as saying. Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognized as the victor, has been waiting to assume leadership of the West African nation and for his opponent to recognize the validity of the polls, a spokesman said.
"We must now do what we can do to have lasting peace," foreign minister Alcide Djedje said.
Tuesday saw French and United Nations soldiers attack forces loyal to Gbagbo, whose whereabouts were unknown. He was believed to be preparing to confiscate large amounts of unshipped cocoa as a method of acquiring funds that Ouattara had cut off.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, cocoa futures slipped 1.29 percent, a $39 dive to $2,981 per metric ton.
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