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EU eyes sanctions against 11 Gbagbo cronies
Brussels (AFP) Dec 14, 2010
The EU is eyeing sanctions against 11 Ivorians in politics, the armed forces and the media, in the inner circle of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who is refusing to relinquish power, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.
The names cited by diplomatic sources include Gbagbo's security advisor Kadet Berlin, the secretary-general of the presidency Desire Tagro and the president of the Constitutional Council Yao N'Dre.
Also on the list of names being considered for sanctions in the following days are: Pascal Affi N'Guessan, secretary general of the Ivorian Popular Front and the director-general of the country's RTI radio and television authority Pierre Israel Amessan Brou.
Bodyguard to Gbagbo's powerful wife Simone, Captain Anselme Seka Yapo, is also named as a target, while Gbagbo himself was not.
The measures, an assets freeze and a visa ban, are to be spelt out in the coming days after the EU decided Monday to take measures against Gbagbo, who has refused to accept defeat in last month's presidential elections to his rival Alassane Outtara.
Others under scrutiny include the head of the national audiovisual board, the CNCA, Frank Anderson Kouassi, the head of the CECOS security operations centre General Guiai Bi Poin and the head of the Republican Guard General Dogbo Ble.
The deputy chief of staff of the Ivorian navy, Admiral Vagba Faussignau, is also on the list along with the head of the presidency security grouping, Lieutenant-Colonel Nathanael Ahouman Brouha.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is to draw up the list, said at a news conference early this week that she hoped "this decision will help persuade the incumbent government and we'll not have to reach the state of sanctions".
As the standoff between the rival leaders dragged on, EU foreign ministers said Monday they had "decided to adopt without delay targeted restrictive measures against those who are obstructing the process of peace and national reconciliation, and in particular who are jeopardising the proper outcome of the electoral process".
"They will particularly target those leading figures who have refused to place themselves under the authority of the democratically elected president," the ministers said after congratulating Ouattara on his election win.
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