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  Thursday, August 22, 2019
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The African Union is backing planned sanctions against Ivory Coast
The African Union (AU) is backing planned sanctions against Ivory Coast which are to be voted by the UN Security Council Monday, "notably an arms embargo", AU chief Olusegun Obasanjo said Sunday. "We support the proposed UN resolution, in particular the arms embargo on all parties in Cote d'Ivoire," the Nigerian President said at the end of an AU summit on the Ivory Coast crisis. "This should be immediate." Obasanjo spoke to the press in the company of five African leaders who took part in the three-hour emergency meeting to find a way out of the festering conflict, wrote the Turkish Press. According to the Expatica News, massive anti-French violence in Ivory Coast over the past week prompting mass evacuations has left a question mark over France's long-term presence in its former star colony. "This time, it's too much. The break is serious. We will have difficulty starting up again. I am thinking about leaving the country," said Michel, the owner of a small packaging company in Abidjan which was partly destroyed by looters taking out their ire on the French. Michel's story is a familiar one, with almost 4,000 French people having fled the western African country since Thursday, in response to the riots unleashed on November 6 after the French military virtually wiped out the Ivorian air force in retaliation for an air strike that killed nine French soldiers. Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has begun buying fighter jets and attack helicopters to replace the ones destroyed by peacekeepers of former colonial power France, an Ivorian military source told Reuters. French peacekeepers destroyed almost all the country's air force earlier this month in response to their bombing of a French base during an assault on the rebel-held north, which killed nine French peacekeepers and shattered an 18-month cease-fire. "Do you think I am going to leave my country with no air defense?" Gbagbo said in an interview on French radio broadcast on Sunday, informs Reuters
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