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March 7, 2021

EU to ban Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo

The European Union is set to impose a travel ban on Ivory Coast’s incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo over disputed elections, a diplomat has told the BBC. French President Nicolas Sarkozy had given Gbagbo a deadline of Sunday to step down. Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara both say they won last month’s election and have each named cabinet ministers amid a stand-off in the main city Abidjan.

The UN, the West and African leaders all say Ouattara was the victor. The EU diplomat told the BBC that an agreement had been taken in principle to ban Gbagbo, and 18 of his allies, from the European Union. The diplomat said the travel ban had to be officially adopted by EU leaders within the next 24-48 hours but said this was a formality as all member states backed it. A separate decision may be taken to freeze any of Gbagbo’s assets in the EU.

Over the weekend, Gbagbo demanded that the 10,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission be withdrawn from the country, accusing the UN of bias in favour of Ouattara. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon immediately rejected the demand.

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