The chairman of a regional body representing 15 countries in West Africa said that Ivory Coast had been suspended from their organization.
The suspension, announced by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, comes as Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo continued to refuse stepping down following an election the U.N. says he lost.
Ivory Coast's electoral commission released results last week indicating Gbagbo had lost to opposition leader Alassane Outtara. The results were certified by the U.N. but Gbagbo defiantly went ahead with a shotgun inauguration and has ignored calls from world leaders to stand down.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, said in a statement Tuesday they recognize Ouattara as president and call on Gbagbo to "yield power without delay."
Following the unexpected turn of events after the second round of the Presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire, an Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was held on 7 December 2010 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
The following Heads of State and Government or their duly accredited representatives were present at this Session: •H.E. Blaise COMPAORE, President of the Faso • H.E. Prof. John Evans ATTA-MILLS, President of the Republic of Ghana • H.E. Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, President of the Republic of Liberia •H.E. Amadou Toumani TOURE, President of the Republic of Mali • H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele JONATHAN, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria • H.E. Maître Abdoulaye WADE, President of the Republic of Senegal • H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic • H. E. Mr. Francisco Pereira da VEIGA , Ambassador of Cape Verde in Senegal representing the President of the Republic of Cape Verde • Mr. Goundé Désiré ADADJA, Honourable Minister of Communication and Information Technology representing the President of the Republic of Benin • Hon. Lamin Kaba BAJO, Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters representing the President of the Republic of the Gambia • H.E. Mr. Henry O. MACAULEY, High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Nigeria representing the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
H.E. Young-Jin CHOI, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Cote d’Ivoire and Mr. Mahama Ouedraogo, representative of the President of the African Union Commission also attended this Session as Observers.
During their deliberations, the Heads of State and Government reviewed the political and security situation arising from the declaration of the results of the second round of the Presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire. The Authority also was briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary- General of the United Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.
After a thorough review of the situation, the Authority expressed deep concern over the threats posed to the success of the peace process leading to a lasting solution to the Ivorian crisis.
Reaffirming their commitment to the relevant provisions and principles of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the Heads of State and Government condemned in strong terms, the attempt to go against the will of the Ivorian people as freely expressed on 28 November 2010.
In order to protect the legitimacy of the electoral process, the Summit endorsed the results declared by the Independent Electoral Commission and certified by the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Cote d’Ivoire in accordance with Resolution 1765 of the United Nations Security Council, dated 16 July 2007. In this regard, the Heads of State and Government recognized Mr. Alassane Dramane Ouattara as President- elect of Cote d’Ivoire, and consequently, representative of the freely expressed voice of the Ivorian People.
The Summit called on Mr. Laurent Gbagbo to abide by the results of the second round of Presidential elections as certified by UNOCI, and to yield power without delay, in the best interest of the Ivorian People.
The Summit decided to apply the provisions of Article 45 of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance relating to the imposition of sanctions on Cote d’Ivoire, including the suspension from all ECOWAS decision- making bodies until further notice.
The Authority expressed appreciation to the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) for its key role in the conduct of the elections under democratically acceptable conditions. In particular, the Authority commended the efforts of the international community to ensure the rapid and definitive resolution of the crisis.
The Heads of State and Government launched an urgent appeal to all Ivorians, political and administrative bodies at all levels of authority, to respect the rights and integrity of Ivorians, nationals of the other ECOWAS Member States, and of all foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, and to guarantee their security.
The Authority of Heads of State and Government commended His Excellency Blaise Compaore, President of the Faso, and Facilitator of inter- Ivoirian dialogue, for his unremitting efforts and proactive diplomatic contributions to the Ivorian peace process.
The Heads of State and Government expressed their gratitude to His Excellency Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for his leadership role and personal involvement in the entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Cote d’Ivoire and in the West African region as a whole.
The Heads of State and Government expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the generous hospitality accorded them in the finest African tradition, during their stay in Abuja, and for the excellent facilities placed at their disposal to ensure the success of this Extraordinary Summit.
Done at Abuja, this 7th day of December, 2010