Canada Announces Measures Against Laurent Gbagbo

Canada commends African Union position on Côte d'Ivoire

(No. 57 - February 8, 2011 - 1:55 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement commending the African Union (AU)'s recent decision to reaffirm recognition of Alassane Ouattara as Côte d'Ivoire's president-elect and announcing measures to prevent former president Laurent Gbagbo and his entourage from travelling to Canada:

"Canada commends the strong and united leadership demonstrated by the African Union at its recent summit in Addis Ababa, where it reconfirmed Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the country's November 28, 2010, United Nations-certified presidential election. Canada looks forward to the recommendations of the AU's newly established high-level panel aimed at a peaceful resolution of the Ivorian crisis, based on respect for the democratic will of the Ivorian people.

"Canada continues to support the efforts of African countries to restore democracy to Côte d'Ivoire and has taken measures to prevent the travel to Canada of Laurent Gbagbo and members of his entourage. Mr. Gbagbo's continuing refusal to cede power caused and has prolonged the crisis.

"With and on behalf of my colleague the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish to announce that Laurent Gbagbo and his entourage are not welcome in Canada. Furthermore, all persons found to be involved in the subversion of the democratically elected government of Côte d'Ivoire, and those found responsible for gross human rights violations or war crimes, would be inadmissible to Canada by virtue of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

"In addition to the travel restrictions, Canada, in consultation with its international partners, will continue to explore further measures against Mr. Gbagbo and his entourage as long as they continue to defy the democratic will of the Ivorian people."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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