Aid threat to Ivory Coast

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Aid threat to Ivory Coast

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The EU has hinted at possible sanctions against Ivory Coast if the crisis following last week’s presidential election is not resolved.

Laurent Gbagbo is coming under more pressure to step down after major donors such as the World Bank and African Development Bank said they would review aid to the country.

His rival Alassane Ouattara is asserting his claim, saying he was meeting go-between Thabo Mbeki, the former South African leader, as president.

Ouattara said:

“Democracy has given its choice that I am the president of Cote d’Ivoire. It is important that the choice of the people be accepted by all, and that Mr Laurent Gbagbo quit.”

Ivory Coast has reopened its borders, despite fears of a revival of a north-south conflict as both presidential challengers claim victory and appoint their own governments.

Ouattara has broader international recognition after provisional election results made him the winner. But diplomats say Russia, which has oil interests in Ivory Coast, has blocked efforts in the UN Security Council to endorse him.

Meanwhile the army is thought to be on Gbagbo’s side.