France grounds Ivory Coast leader Gbagbo’s plane

PARIS (BestGrowthStock) – A plane belonging to Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has been grounded at the Franco-Swiss Basel/Mulhouse airport, the French foreign ministry said on Sunday, as part of measures to put pressure on him to step down.

“Ivory Coast’s legitimate authorities have asked us to ground the aircraft and it is precisely what we have done,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told Reuters.

World powers and African states have heaped political and financial pressure on Gbagbo, the incumbent president, to relinquish power after a November 28 vote in which electoral commission results showed he lost to Alassane Ouattara.

West African heads of state threatened on Friday to use force to oust Gbagbo after a violent stand-off over the vote threatened to push Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, back into civil war.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey, writing by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

France grounds Ivory Coast leader Gbagbo’s plane