CÔTE D'IVOIRE Guns, votes and cocoa 18th March 2011 Image courtesy of Panos Pictures View site Laurent Gbagbo’s military position is weakening as business friends help him to break his rival’s ban on cocoa exports Trade sources in Moscow and London report that business allies of Laurent Gbagbo have begun exporting cocoa out of the port of San Pedro in defiance of President-elect Alassane Dramane Ouattara’s export ban. Last month, the officially recognised President called for the ban, which he has extended to the end of March. He promised action against traders who violate the ban, which has the United Nations’ backing, and all the major buyers have complied. The European Union has forbidden any EU-flagged vessel from lifting cocoa. The export ban will carry on into April, we hear.