A special adviser to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has described as unfortunate the U.S. decision to freeze the accounts of the embattled leader and his close associates.
Ambassador Yao Gnamien told VOA the account freeze will not help resolve the country’s political crisis, which began after the 28th November presidential run-off vote.
“It is not fair…because it is just a controversy borne after an election. We have seen this crisis all over the world. The United States didn’t take this kind of decision when this kind of controversy happened in Togo for instance, in Gabon, even in China,” Gnamien said.
“I think that the U.S. administration, they have to be pragmatic and to help the Ivorians solve their problem peacefully without threats, without the use of force, but promoting justice. And, you cannot have justice without respecting the domestic legal system.”
The U.S. Treasury Department Thursday said Mr. Gbagbo's unwillingness to accept the official election results threatens peace and national reconciliation in Ivory Coast, where 210 people have been killed in post-election violence.
The sanctions also targeted three of Mr. Gbagbo’s senior advisers and members of his inner circle, including Desire Tagro, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Alcide Ilahiri Djedje, who have acted for or on his behalf.
The measures prohibit U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designated individuals and freezes assets of the designees within U.S. jurisdiction.
Gnamien said there is a need for the Obama administration to send election experts to investigate the outcome of the disputed election results.
“What we need (as) Ivorians, our hope is to see President Obama send, let’s say, the most important experts regarding the electoral system, to send them to Cote d’Ivoire so that they can see what happened in our country. And, when they go back to the United States, I think that President Obama and his administration will make (a) sound decision.”
Meanwhile, despite increasing international pressure and threats of the use of force by sub-regional leaders, Mr. Gbagbo has refused to step down and cede power to former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.