The Council of the EU [official website] adopted a decision Monday to institute sanctions [official statement, PDF] against the Ivory Coast. There has been unrest in the country [JURIST report] since elections were held at the beginning of this month. Alassane Ouattara defeated incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, but Gbagbo has refused to concede victory [AP report] to Ouattrara. According to the EU's statement:
The Council has considered how to react to the situation in Cote d'Ivoire. It has decided to adopt without delay targeted restrictive 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. Those measures will include a visa ban and an assets freeze. They will particularly target those leading figures who have refused to place themselves under the authority of the democratically elected President, of whom an initial list should be adopted rapidly.The UN certified [UN News Centre report] Ouattrara's victory, but both he and Gbagbo have taken oaths of office. Approximately $340 million in aid from the EU could also be withheld [AP report] if Gbagbo does not concede victory to Ouattrara.
In February, Gbagbo dissolved [JURIST report] the country's parliament and electoral commission based on allegations of voter fraud in the long delayed presidential elections. On disbanding the government, Gbagbo charged Prime Minister Guillaume Soro [BBC profile] with creation of new government and new election format. Gbagbo had accused Beugre Mambe, the head of the independent electoral commission, of fraud by attempting to register more than 400,000 whom Gbagbo considers to be foreigners. Opposition parties such as the Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI) [party website, in French] and Republican Gathering Party (RDR) [party website, in French] said that most of those voters are ethnic groups in the north of the country, who would likely have voted against Gbagbo. Gbagbo was elected president in 2000 to serve a five-year term, but he has managed to stay in office through delaying six successive elections.