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Côte d’Ivoire embassy in Paris is closed

media French police stand in front of the Côte d'Ivoire embassy in Paris on 27 … Photo: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

The embassy of Côte d'Ivoire in Paris was shut Tuesday, a day after it was taken over by supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who is seeking to oust incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo in contested elections.

"The embassy is closed until further notice," French police officers posted outside the building told the AFP news agency.

No one, including Ivorian civil servants, was allowed in the building, which houses the diplomatic representation of Côte d'Ivoire as well as consular services.

Visa applicants received an email late Monday telling them the embassy would be shut down until Sunday, "due to the new year's holiday."

Gbagbo supporters vacated the embassy and about 30 Ouattara supporters took over Monday, leaving in the evening when they said they had assurances that Pierre Kipré, a close advisor to Gbagbo, would not resume his post there.

Bouake Karamoko, a representative of RHDP, the pro-Ouattara group in France, said he was "awaiting the arrival of the new ambassador" named by Ouattara.

France has said it will recognise Ouattara's ambassador, as it rejects Gbagbo’s claim to the presidency after the disputed second round of voting on 28 November.

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