Ivory Coast reopens Ghana land and sea borders

Traffic stopped at Noe, near Ivory Coast's border with Ghana. 24 Sept 2012
Image caption Road transport between Ivory Coast and Ghana has been blocked

Ivory Coast has reopened its land and maritime borders with Ghana, more than two weeks after they were shut following a deadly cross-border attack.

Ivorian Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said both countries had tightened security along the border "with the aim of stopping all incursions".

Several people died when gunmen attacked an Ivorian army checkpoint in the border town of Noe on 21 September.

Officials blamed exiled supporters of ousted President Laurent Gbagbo.

Ivory Coast responded by closing land, air and sea borders with Ghana but restarted flights between the two countries a few days later.

The border closure has blocked the main transport route along the Gulf of Guinea, stretching from Ivory Coast to Nigeria.

In a statement broadcast on state TV, Paul Koffi Koffi said: "President Alassane Ouattara decided that from Monday at seven in the morning the land and sea borders will reopen."

After a contested election in 2010, Mr Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to President Ouattara, who eventually ousted his rival with the help of former rebel forces, the UN and former colonial power France.

Mr Gbagbo is currently in The Hague, awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

However, many of his supporters are living in exile across the border in Ghana and have been blamed for a string of attacks in Ivory Coast.

Ghana has promised to help investigate the attacks.

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