U.S. imposes financial sanctions on former Côte D’Ivoire leader

January 7th, 2011 - 3:07 pm ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed financial sanctions on a selected group of Ivorian politicians, including former President Laurent Gbagbo.

OFAC leveled sanctions against former Côte D’Ivoire President Gbagbo, his wife, Simone Gbagbo, and three of his senior advisors and members of his inner circle, Desire Tagro, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Alcide Ilahiri Djedje.

The sanctions pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13396 were imposed for their recent actions threatening the peace and national reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire, referring to Gbagbo’s refusal of accepting electoral defeat. The three advisors were designated for acting on behalf of Gbagbo.

“Laurent Gbagbo continues to demonstrate wanton disregard for the will and well-being of the people of Côte d’Ivoire,” said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. “Today’s designations will isolate him and his inner circle from the world’s financial system and underscore the desire of the international community that he step down.”

E.O. 13396 targets persons determined to constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process in the West African country and isolate them from the U.S. financial system.

The sanctions will block all property of the designated individuals subject to U.S. jurisdiction and will prohibit all U.S. citizens from engaging in any transactions with them.

Former President Gbagbo continues to reject the results of the 2010 presidential elections that resulted in the victory of opposition candidate and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, despite the approval from the UN and the international community.

On January 1, Gbagbo failed to comply with a deadline to transfer power peacefully, which resulted in the gathering of military commanders in order to plan a military intervention to remove the former president if needed by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

Some 200 people have been killed and more than 20,000 Ivorian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, especially Liberia, since the violence began between the Army controlled by Gbagbo and Ouattara’s supporters including UN peacekeepers.

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