Fighting is continuing in the Ivory Coast between supporters of the new president and the one who lost the November election; the latter would not cede power and was forced from office by armed peacekeepers, Bloomberg reports.
Abidjan, the commercial capital of the country whose economy is largely based on cocoa as the top commodity, has seen clashes between militia supporting Alassane Ouattara, who is recognized as the leader, and Laurent Gbagbo, whose 10-year presidency ended in disgrace when French and U.N. forces apprehended him April 11 in the basement of his residence.
"We can hear since this morning heavy artillery clashes," Alain Gbalou, a resident of Northern Abidjan, told the news service. "The neighborhood has become a war a zone."
Cocoa became a pawn in the power struggle between Ouattara and Gbagbo as Ouattara sought to restrict tax revenues from reaching Gbagbo so as to cut off his funding. Gbagbo was believed to be preparing to seize unshipped cocoa, which would have spited the businesses that produced it.
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, cocoa futures climbed 1.27 percent, a $39 increase to $3,106 per metric ton.
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