Incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is reported to have successfully withdrawn an amount of $160 million from the West African Central Bank, despite sanctions imposed on his government following Ivory Coast’s political stand-off.
The country has two presidents following a disputed election run-off on November 28, 2010. The opposition leader Allsane Ouattara and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo both claimed victory and have since been sworn in as presidents.
While Gbagbo is in the presidential palace, Ouattara is in a hotel in the capital Abidjan.
The international community supports Ouattara and have imposed various sanctions on Gbagbo to force him to stand down, but he is yet to agree to do so.
The World Bank, the IMF and the West African Central Bank have all imposed sanctions on Gbagbo believing that economic pressure would force him out of power. Gbagbo is supported by the country’s army and the international community believes that if he is unable to access any more funds to pay salaries of the soldiers, they may turn against him and force him out of power.
Meanwhile, Gbagbo’s ally at the bank, has been forced to quit. Governor Philippe Dacoury-Tabley, an Ivorian, quit after the bank held a meeting Saturday. He was said to have failed to implement an order to reject Gbagbo’s signature for funds. He however said, he couldn’t so so for technical reasons.
Outtara, meanwhile has been asked to nominate a new bank boss.
The bank is made up of treasuries of eight countries in West Africa.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi