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The AUF is calling for an international investigation into brain tissue exports from the Ivory Coast. Credible evidence shows that the increasing demand for brain tissue by research centers in North America may have adverse effects on the lives of healthy African infants and the unborn fetuses of poor women. Evidence also shows that this year, in the Ivory Coast, as many as, or more than a dozen infants have died under questionable circumstances, have been killed, or have died as a result of willful neglect by medical personnel, for the purpose of retrieving their brains for stem-cell and/or other research in degenerative brain disorders.

President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast has been implicated as a key participant in a disturbing unethical and brutal medical ring in Ivory Coast that is selling infants' and fetal brains tissue to research centers in the US and Canada. The reports claim that poor pregnant African women coming in from the rural areas into the general hospital in Abidjan have become victims of a global, and opportunistic medical clique that benefits from, and is involved in the killing of infants (without the knowledge of the mothers) and collects their brain material for research.

Poor women coming in from the bush are the most vulnerable to this unethical, vicious and decidedly disturbing trade that takes advantage of the disorder and confusion created by the political and economic disorder of Ivory Coast. The villages and towns of residence of the victims mothers identified so far include: Divo, in Bandama region; Anyama, and Alepe in Lagunes region; and Biakaleu, Kouibly, Guehibly, as well as Bangolo, in West Montagneux region.

Laurent Gbagbo, Head-of-State in Ivory Coast, now has at least 100 private counts of human rights violations directed against him personally, that could make him one of the Africans most likely to end up on trial at the International Court of Justice, in the Hague (or Arusha). Moreover, Gbagbo has recently become the focus of AUF concern especially because of his refusal to call an election, as well as his decidedly opportunistic repression of Africans. Gbagbo is using fraudulent citizenship clauses that bar citizens of the African Union from holding public office in Ivory Coast.

Because of Gbagbo's oppressive policy towards millions of people, the communities of northern Ivory Coast are threatening to secede if they are not recognized as legitimate citizens of the Ivory Coast. The situation in the Ivory Coast is explosive and is destabilized the region. Events in Ivory Coast could tarnish the image of the new African Union. Gbagbo was the person most closely identified with Amara Essy, during the election of the AU Secretary General at the OAU summit in Lusaka in July 2001. Gbagbo's policies and growing human rights failures are undermining the aims and spirit of the African Union.

Most distressing of all is the alleged involvement of Laurent Gbagbo in the child slavery industry in Ivory Coast, as well as the horrific and unethical trade in human and primate brain tissue exports. Brain tissue imports from Africa are increasing as the demand rises for stem cells and regenative brain therapies in the US and the EU.

There is need for an investigation into the extent of, and the conditions surrounding the export of brain tissue from Africa, and the role, if any, that the government of Ivory Coast, or the person of Laurent Gbagbo has in it.