Sarkozy calls for Gbagbo to quit by end week

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday called for incumbent Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo to quit office by the end of the week to avoid sanctions.

Gbagbo must go "before the end of the week" to avoid being added to a list of Ivorians being targeted by European Union sanctions, said the French head of state at an EU summit.

Gbagbo has refused to leave office since being defeated for the presidency by rival Alassane Ouattara in a November 28 poll. Ouattara's victory has been recognised by the international community -- including the African Union and the United Nations Security Council.

The EU this week threatened to slap an assets freeze and visa ban against Gbagbo cronies, with a list of 18 names to be considered at meetings in Brussels on Monday.

Eleven of the 18 on the list obtained by AFP are close staff, military chiefs or the heads of the West African nation's controversial media.

© 2010 AFP

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