8 Apr 2011

Ivory Coast leader urges EU to lift sanctions

7:12 pm on 8 April 2011

Ivory Coast's internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara has urged the European Union to lift sanctions in a bid to restart the country's ailing economy.

Mr Ouattara now controls the main cocoa-exporting port of San Pedro, and wants to restart the trade.

But his troops are still not in control of all of the main city Abidjan, where his rival Laurent Gbagbo remains holed up in the presidential residence and refusing to cede power.

Aid agencies are warning of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Abidjan, the BBC reports.

Residents of the city are without basic amenities such as running water and power, and food supplies are low.

Witnesses say bodies are lying on the streets after days of bitter fighting between loyalists of the presidential claimants.