South Africa freezes Cote d’Ivoire assets

4 April 2011

South Africa has frozen the assets and other economic resources of former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo, his spouse Simone Gbagbo and other associates, in accordance with the recent United Nations Security Council resolution.

“The South African Government is implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolution which was adopted with immediate effect on Wednesday, 30 March 2011,” Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Pretoria this week.

Freezing funds and assets

The resolution requires of financial institutions in member countries to freeze the funds and other financial assets of persons who pose a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process in Cote d’Ivoire.

The resolution is against former president Gbagbo; his spousel the chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI); Desire Tagro, the Secretary-General in Gbagbo’s presidency; Pascal Affi N’Guessan, chairman FPI; and Gbagbo’s adviser, Alcide Djedje.

“Financial institutions should note that the resolution applies to the above mentioned individuals listed in Annex 1 of the Resolution and also to the funds, other financial assets and economic resources owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the designated persons in an earlier UNSC Resolution, namely in paragraphs 9 and 11 of UNSC Resolution 1572 (2004),” Gordhan said.

“Accordingly, I have instructed the Financial Intelligence Centre to caution financial institutions not to become involved in any transactions or business relationships which may facilitate the provision of funds to persons or entities listed pursuant to UNSC Resolution 1975 as amplified by paragraphs 9 and 11 of UNSC Resolution 1572 (2004).”

Reserve Bank measures

The Reserve Bank also indicated that it will use measures available to it to prevent any such funds from leaving the country.

“The South African Government has expressed its deep concern for the situation in Cote d’Ivoire and called upon the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to support efforts to find a political solution to the violence and conflict in that country,” Gordhan said.

Gbagbo’s refusal to step down after Alassane Ouattara was pronounced as the winner of the country’s November 2010 polls plunged the country into political crisis.

Source: BuaNews