Ouattara forces near Ivorian cocoa port of San Pedro

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara in Ivory Coast are now in control of the town of Soubre, the last main town on the road to the cocoa port of San Pedro, residents said.

“The Republican forces took the town without any resistance,” said Madou Kone, a resident.

Salam Kone, another resident, confirmed that the forces sweeping down from the north had taken the town, which lies 130 km (80 miles) north of San Pedro.

Ouattara’s forces have launched offensives from the east, west and center of the country in recent days in a bid to force presidential incumbent Laurent Gbagbo from power. Gbagbo refused to step down after a November election that U.N.-certified results showed Ouattara won.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; writing by David Lewis; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Ouattara forces near Ivorian cocoa port of San Pedro