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 Treasury Targets Former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo and Members of his Inner Circle


1/6/2011
 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife, Simone Gbagbo, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13396 for their recent actions threatening the peace and national reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire.  Today’s action also targeted three of Laurent Gbagbo’s senior advisors and members of his inner circle, Desire Tagro, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Alcide Ilahiri Djedje for acting for or on his behalf.

E.O. 13396 targets persons determined to constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process in Côte d'Ivoir, or to act or purport to act for or on behalf of such persons, directly or indirectly, by isolating them from the U.S. financial system.  As a result of today's actions, U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designated individuals, and any assets of the designees within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

“Laurent Gbagbo continues to demonstrate wanton disregard for the will and well-being of the people of Côte d’Ivoire,” said OFAC Director Adam J. 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.”

Former President Gbagbo’s refusal to accept the results of the November 28, 2010 run-off election between himself and Alassane Ouattara – as announced by the Independent Election Commission (CEI) and certified by the Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General – has created a crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.  As a signatory to the 2005 Pretoria Agreement, Laurent Gbagbo pledged to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections in Côte d’Ivoire with UN participation, a commitment that was reaffirmed in the 2007 Ouagadougou Political Agreement.  His refusal to accept the CEI’s election results – which have been endorsed by the UN Security Council, the African Union, the European Union, and the Economic Community of West African States – and relinquish his authority undermines the implementation of these political agreements and threatens the peace and reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire.

Desire Tagro has acted as Laurent Gbagbo’s chief-of-staff since the November election, and he was designated today for threatening the peace and national reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire and for acting for or on behalf of Gbagbo.  Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Chairman of the Ivorian Popular Front, a political party founded by Laurent Gbagbo in 1982, has been acting as Gbagbo’s campaign spokesman during the 2010 election season and its aftermath, and Alcide Ilahiri Djedje, previously Côte d’Ivoire’s Permanent Representative to the UN, was selected as Gbagbo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.  N’Guessan and Djedje were designated today for acting for or on behalf of Gbagbo.  Tagro, N’Guessan, and Djedje have all served as official representatives of Gbagbo since his refusal to stand down and have resisted international calls for a democratic transfer of power.

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