Global Leaders Threaten Ivory Coast Sanctions


European Union leaders threatened sanctions against the Ivory Coast and said members of the country's military should support Alassan Ouatarra, who international officials say won the presidency.

The European Council called on Ivorian troops "who have not yet done so, to place themselves under the authority of the democratically elected president" in a statement issued Friday after a meeting in Brussels, Belgium,

The leaders also reiterated an earlier pledge to take "targeted restrictive measures" against the Ivory Coast, including freezing assets and banning visas.

It was the latest in a chorus of international criticism of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who claims to have won the election.

The Ivory Coast's Independent Electoral Commission said Ouattara won the November 28 presidential runoff, but the country's Constitutional Council invalidated those results and declared Gbagbo the winner. The United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union and the African Union said Ouattara won.