Indian envoy to be evacuated from Ivory coast

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by sandeepdg, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 5, 2009
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    NEW DELHI: Shama Jain, India's ambassador to Ivory Coast, will be evacuated by French forces from Abidjan by Friday after her house was damaged in fierce fighting, sources said. India had requested the French government to rescue the envoy and her staffers because they have ground forces in Abidjan.

    Jain's residence is situated very close to the presidential compound which has been bombed by the French and is the scene of fierce shelling between forces loyal to Alsanne Ouattaro, the internationally recognized president, and Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to quit the post even after losing the November 2010 elections.

    In the shelling over the last couple of days, Jain's house was damaged. The Indian ambassador, along with the Japanese and Israeli envoys, live in what is called the Cocody area, where forces loyal to both sides are fighting a deadly battle, putting these envoys in the crossfire.

    On Thursday, Japanese ambassador Yoshifumi Okamura was evacuated after his house became the scene of a battle. The UN mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) and the French force Licorne have deployed troops in the country.

    Last week, India voted in the UN Security Council for targeted sanctions against Gbagbo, his wife and close aides in a 15-0 vote. India's UN envoy Hardeep Puri said, "We have supported the efforts of the ECOWAS (a regional west African body) and African Union to find a political solution leading to restoration of democracy and will of the Ivorian people at the earliest. With that objective in mind, we have voted in favour of the resolution."

    Meanwhile, foreign minister S M Krishna has asked that Indian envoys serving in sensitive areas be given satellite phones so they can stay in touch with New Delhi even if telephonic communications break down.

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