ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — The World Bank said Wednesday it had frozen loans to Ivory Coast as France urged its citizens to leave the West African country amid heightened UN concerns the nation faced a "real risk" of returning to civil war.
The United Nations and other world leaders recognize Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the Nov. 28 runoff vote. Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent who refuses to concede defeat and leave the presidency, said late Tuesday that "the international community has declared war on Ivory Coast."
Gbagbo said in the televised speech that he doesn't want "any blood to be spilled," but maintained he was president of the country. Over the weekend, he ordered all UN peacekeepers out of the country immediately in an escalation of tensions.