US Allows Return of Embassy Personnel To Ivory Coast

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 9:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. State Department is easing its travel warning for Ivory Coast and allowing nonessential U.S. diplomats along with most of their family to return to the West African nation.

The State Department said Thursday that security conditions have improved following the country's post-election crisis. However, it said that Americans should continue to exercise caution in Ivory Coast, and that the situation there could change quickly and without advanced warning.

The department ordered the departure of all nonessential embassy personnel and their family from Ivory Coast in December, following disputed elections.

The country was plunged into a crisis when then-president Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge defeat in November elections to Alassane Ouattara.

That dispute sparked unrest that killed more than 3,000 people and displaced up to 1 million. Pro-Ouattara forces captured Mr. Gbagbo in Abidjan in April and Mr. Ouattara assumed the presidency.