Fearing War, France Urges Citizens to Flee Ivory Coast

Meanwhile, World Bank freezes loans to the country
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2010 11:06 AM CST
UN forces stand guard on a street in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010.   (Sunday Alamba)
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(Newser) – The World Bank has frozen loans to Ivory Coast as France urged its citizens to leave the West African country amid heightened UN concerns the nation risks returning to civil war. A French government spokesman told reporters yesterday that it was urging citizens to leave the country, a former French colony, because of "undeniable sources of worry" there. At least 13,000 French people are believed to live in the country.

After a meeting in Paris with President Nicolas Sarkozy, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said that "we already have" halted loans to the country. The bank is "sending the message to President Gbagbo that he has lost the election and needs to step down," it said in a statement. Zoellick said that the West African Monetary Authority had also frozen its loans to Ivory Coast.

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