The internationally recognized victor of last year's disputed election in the Ivory Coast will not accept the envoy selected by the African Union to sort through and attempt to resolve the conflict, Bloomberg reports.
Alassane Ouattara, considered the winner of November's presidential runoff with incumbent Laurent Gbagbo in the nation that is the world's top producer of cocoa, will not accept appointee Jose Brito because his interests are believed to slant toward Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power. Brito was a foreign minister of Cape Verde.
"Ouattara's office wishes to express its surprise at the nomination of Mr. Jose Brito in this post, considering his personal and political relations with outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo," according to an e-mailed statement on Sunday.
Since the November 28 disputed election, nearly 500 people have been slain and as many as one million have fled the nation. Ouattara has cut cocoa taxes from being directed to Gbagbo as a method of forcing him out, but Gbagbo is believed to be set to confiscate large amounts of the commodity.
"As a result, the President of the Republic of Ivory Coast rejects Mr. Jose Brito as the African Union's High Representative," the statement notes.
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