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Ghana/Ivory Coast border reopens

Tuesday, October 09, 2012    

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AFP) — Ivory Coast's land and sea borders with Ghana, closed after a deadly attack on September 21, reopened yesterday, the defence minister announced late Sunday.

Paul Koffi Koffi said on RTI public television that President Alassane Ouattara had decided the borders would reopen at 7:00 am (0700 GMT) Monday.

All borders were closed after gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Ivorty Coast and then fled to Ghana, but air links were reopened on September 24.

Koffi said that since the closure "the two brotherly countries have strengthened their security along the common border with the aim of preventing any incursion" while Ouattara and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama "have stayed in permanent contact."

The closure of the frontiers caused major difficulties for trade between the neighbours and for residents of the border region.

There have been a series of recent similar attacks on police and other security targets in Ivory Coast.

Ouattara's government has accused supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo of backing the attacks with help from exiles in Ghana.

Thousands of Gbagbo loyalists fled to Ghana after the fall of his regime following a post-election conflict that claimed some 3,000 lives between December 2010 and April 2011.

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