JZ mobbed in Ivory Coast

2011-02-23 07:04

President Jacob Zuma was mobbed in the Ivory Coast by angry supporters of Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised winner of the West African nation’s disputed presidential election.

Chanting “tell the truth, tell the truth”, the protesters surrounded the car Zuma was travelling in yesterday and armed police had to intervene to push the mob back, eNews and SABC radio news reported.

Zuma is visiting the country as part of African Union efforts to solve the four-month-long political impasse in the country, where clashes between Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo supporters have left more than 300 people dead, international news agencies reported.

Gbagbo has refused to step down after losing the November 28 elections.

While the West African regional block Ecowas and the international community have recognised Ouattara as the new president, South Africa is one of a handful of nations who has not unequivocally endorsed Ouattara and has backed Gbabgo’s call for a recount.

Zuma is in the country alongside the presidents of Chad, Mauritania and Tanzania in an attempt to help create a power-sharing interim government to run the country until new polls are held.

Ouattara yesterday extended a ban on cocoa exports to March 15 as part of attempts to pressure Gbabgo to relinquish power.

The Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest cocoa producer. 

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