African leaders are warning Laurent Gbagbo that if he doesn’t step down from his contested post as president of the Ivory Coast, he may face military action. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Benin, and Cape Verde held talks with Gbagbo at the presidential palace in Abidjan after first meeting with the top UN envoy to the country. Though Benin’s president, Boni Yayi, said the meeting “went well,” the three leaders declined to comment further. There had been hopes that Gbagbo’s three West African neighbours would succeed where the UN, U.S., EU and African Union have failed in convincing him to accept defeat in last month’s presidential election against Alassane Ouattara by offering him the chance of going into exile. However, Gbagbo made it clear he won’t quit so easily. A spokesman for the government said it would sever ties with countries that recognized envoys named by Ouattara only a matter of hours after the meeting with Ivory Coast’s neighbouring leaders.
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