France has recalled its ambassador in Ivory Coast Gilles Huberson, just a few weeks before the country's heavily awaited elections.
Following Ouattara's official declaration as a candidate to a third mandate, protesters took their anger to the streets. 15 people died during the demonstrations.
With many fearing the elections could lead to post-electoral violence like in 2010, the news sure came as a surprise.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to give a clear reason to this return, but assures it is in no means the consequence of a disagreement between the two presidents Macron and Ouattara.
Ambassadors are usually recalled when two countries face diplomatic tensions, or when facing sanctions.
According to french investigative media Mediapart, Huberson would be investigated for acts of sexual violence on five of his colleagues, both during his time as Ambassador in Mali between 2013 and 2016, and since he was nominated in Ivory Coast in 2017.
Accusations that, should they proove to be true, could be devastating for the French diplomacy, since the French ambassador to Ivory Coast is the most prestigious job within the African division of the French Foreign Ministry.