December 29, 2010 / 5:57 PM / in 8 years

EU to toughen sanctions against I.Coast's Gbagbo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will strengthen sanctions against incumbent Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo next month, widening a list of his supporters who face travel restrictions and freezing assets, EU diplomats said.

The EU imposed sanctions on Gbagbo and his backers in December to pressure him into relinquishing power after a November election that world powers say he lost to his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

At a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, representatives of the EU’s 27 governments agreed to impose additional measures and increase the number of people targeted to 61 from 19.

“There was agreement in the hope of introducing the new measures in early January,” one EU diplomat told Reuters.

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