Indian ambassador safely evacuated from Abidjan
The Indian ambassador to Ivory Coast along with other officials of the mission has been safely evacuated from her residence in Abidjan, capital of the beleaguered country.delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2011 20:34 IST
The Indian ambassador to Ivory Coast along with other officials of the mission has been safely evacuated from her residence in Abidjan, capital of the beleaguered country.
An external affairs ministry release said, "On account of the consequent grave danger, ambassador Jain was safely evacuated from her residence, in the early hours of this morning (IST) at our request, by the UN forces in Cote d'Ivoire, who were ably supported by French troops. It may be mentioned that some other heads of mission have also similarly been evacuated."
The diplomatic area where the residence of the Indian ambassador Shamma Jain and other ambassadors are located had seen intense fighting over the past few days between the loyalists of Alsanne Ouattaro, the internationally recognized president, and Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to quit the post even after losing the November 2010 elections.
India had requested the French government to rescue the envoy and her staffers as they have ground forces in Abidjan. The UN mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) and the French have deployed troops in the country.
"Ambassador and the officials of the Indian Mission are safe in Abidjan. Members of the Indian community are also safe though forced to remain indoors on account of the prevailing security situation in the city. Our mission personnel are in constant touch with them and the situation is being closely monitored," the release said.
Jain's house, which was also damaged in the fighting, is situated in the Cocody area which is located very close to the presidential compound that has been bombed by French forces.
Last week, India voted in the UN Security Council for targeted sanctions against Gbagbo, his wife and close aides in a 15-0 vote.
In February last year, Jain was wounded in a car accident in Monrovia in Liberia when the car she was traveling in along with Vayalar Ravi, minister of overseas affairs, was rammed by a speeding driver. Ravi was on a nine-day tour of African countries.