Ivory Coast Expels Canadian, British Ambassadors In Tit-For-Tat Diplomacy

Ottawa, however, is ignoring the expulsion order.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has issued a statement saying that Canada doesn’t recognize Gbagbo’s claim to government, and as such, his request is illegitimate.

Canada had earlier asked Ivorian diplomats to leave Ottawa to protest Gbagbo’s refusal to cede power after he lost the Nov. 28 presidential runoff to Alassane Ouattara.

Britain took similar action, which prompted tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions by Gbagbo’s administration late Thursday.

The political standoff in Ivory Coast has paralyzed the once prosperous African nation and led to violence that has claimed at least 173 lives.

The Economic Community of West African States has threatened military action against Gbagbo, but has shied away from committing troops.

Gbagbo, 65 came to power in 2000 and ruled during a civil war, then overstayed his legal term, which expired in 2005. Toronto Star