Nigeria evacuates diplomats from Cote d’Ivoire

Alassane Ouattara

Nigeria has evacuated all its diplomats from the Ivory Coast and will bring out its other citizens there after its embassy was attacked, the government said on Tuesday.

Ivory Coast is locked in a dispute after incumbent Laurent Gbagbo claimed victory in the presidential election on November 28 which the outside world says was won by rival Alassane Ouattara.

“We had to evacuate all our diplomats because our embassy in Cote d’Ivoire was attacked,” Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told reporters.

“Arrangements are also being made to evacuate Nigerian citizens in that country.”

Ajumogobia did not say when the attack on the embassy took place or who carried it out.

Pro-Gbagbo security forces used live rounds last Thursday to put down street protests by Ouattara supporters but Gbagbo’s government has denied using excessive force.

Election commission results showed Ouattara won by about 8 percentage points. Gbagbo has claimed victory and is backed by the Constitutional Council, headed by an ally. The Council erased nearly half a million Ouattara votes, alleging fraud.

The United Nations, France, the United States, the European Union, the African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS have urged Gbagbo to admit defeat and step down.

ECOWAS heads of state are due to meet on Friday in the Nigerian capital Abuja to discuss developments in Ivory Coast.

Source: Reuters

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