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West African Leaders Meeting on Ivory Coast Presidential Crisis


Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)

Laurent Gbagbo (Dec 2010 file photo)

West African regional leaders have forced out the head of a regional central bank after he failed to cut off funds to Ivory Coast's embattled President Laurent Gbagbo.

West African leaders meeting in Mali announced Saturday they have accepted the resignation of Philippe Dacoury-Tabley. Dacoury-Tabley is a supporter of President Gbagbo and has been accused of safeguarding the president's access to funds.

The Central Bank of West African States has recognized Mr. Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara, as the president of Ivory Coast following November's disputed election.

West African leaders Saturday called on Mr. Ouattara to propose a replacement to head the central bank.

Mr. Gbagbo has ignored demands to yield power to Mr. Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's run-off election in November. The presidential deadlock has triggered a crisis in the west African country.

In another development Saturday, the government of President Gbagbo says it has canceled the accreditation of France's envoy, after France recognized Mr. Ouattara as president.

The French government rejected the statement, saying it is devoid of any legal standing. Mr. Ouattara has already named an ambassador to France, Ali Coulibaly.

Mr. Gbagbo's government previously ordered the Canadian and British ambassadors out of the country, but they have refused to leave.

Mr. Ouattara is in a hotel in Abidjan where he is protected by U.N. peacekeepers. He has said he is open to letting Mr. Gbagbo live in Ivory Coast with privileges as a former president, but that Mr. Gbagbo has to resign immediately and peacefully.

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has threatened to use force if Mr. Gbagbo does not resign.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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