[DAKAR] IRIN has produced a series of briefings exploring the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire triggered by contested elections in November 2010. Both Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara are laying claim to the presidency, with Gbagbo refusing to yield to international pressure to step down. The series takes a look at the UN’s position, issues of human rights, as well as the stances of the African Union, ECOWAS, western governments and the EU and World Bank.
Aside from some high profile dissenters in France, the EU has largely maintained a strong collective position on Côte d’Ivoire. The announcement from Abidjan on 6 January that the accreditation of British Ambassador Nicholas James Westcott (based in Accra) had been revoked shows the scope for retaliatory diplomacy. Both British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Minister William Hague had been happy to support sanctions and push for the replacement of the Ivorian ambassador in London. Similarly, Canadian Ambassador Marie Isabelle Massip, who was also asked to leave, represents a government that has come out in favour of pressure against Gbagbo. Both Canada and the United Kingdom have rejected the expulsion orders as illegal.