The European Union is preparing targetted sanctions against Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, and plans to give its backing to the rival administration of Alassane Ouattara.
In a statement issued after a regular meeting of European foreign ministers on Monday, the EU’s Council said it had decided “to begin, without delay, preparatory work with a view to the adoption of targeted 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.”
Referring to the outcome of the second round of the presidential election held on November 28, the Council said it was “imperative that the sovereign wish expressed by the Ivorian people be respected. The European Union will only consider as legitimate those national and local leaders who have placed themselves under the authority of the democratically elected President.”
Côte d’Ivoire’s electoral commission judged that Alassane Ouattara had won the election against Gbagbo, the incumbent. Its ruling has been backed by the African Union and the United Nations, but both Gbagbo and Ouattara have claimed power.
Referring to Ouattara, the EU Council said it had decided “to take measures in support of the democratically elected authorities.” It called on its “high representative” for foreign affairs, Catherine Ashton, to make proposals for implementing the decision.