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Ivory Coast: Abuja Evacuates Diplomats As Washington Sanctions Gbagbo

Source: THEWILL. -
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 21, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Government today evacuated its diplomats from Ivory Coast and said it will evacuate its nationals after the Nigerian Embassy was attacked, according to Nigerian foreign Minister, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia.

"We had to evacuate all our diplomats because our embassy in Cote d'Ivoire was attacked. Arrangements are also being made to evacuate Nigerian citizens in that country," Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told correspondents.

Ivory Coast has been engulfed in violence since the disputed Presidential election of November 28, 2010 which is widely believed to have been won by President Laurel Gbagbo’s rival, Alassane Ouattara, but Gbagbo is claiming victory in the poll after the Constitutional Council led by his associate overruled the electoral commission which had announced Ouattara as winner by 8 points.

Meanwhile, the United States today said it has imposed travel sanctions on Gbagbo, his family and associates as pressures continue to mount on the incumbent to accept defeat and step down as president.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imposed travel restrictions on Mr. Gbagbo and members of his family, including his wife, and other associates who are said to be supporting policies that "undermine the democratic process" in Ivory Coast.

The travel ban covers only entry into the United States of America.

The UN, EU, AU, and regional body ECOWAS have all criticized Gbagbo for plunging the country into chaos following his refusal to accept defeat.

The United Nations had earlier certified Ouattara winner of the poll and Gbagbo responded by ordering UN troops out of the country. There are about 9,000 UN peacekeeping troops in the country.

The UN Security Council in defiance to Gbagbo’s order has extended the commission of its soldiers in the country to June 30, 2011.