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Ivory Coast's Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo Arrested (11 April 2011) 

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Old 04-11-2011, 11:54 AM
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Ivory Coast's Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo Arrested (11 April 2011)

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  • 2000: Declared winner of disputed elections
  • 2005: UN Security Council agrees to let Gbagbo stay on provisionally as president without holding elections, even though his term has ended
  • 2007: Agrees power-sharing government with former rebels
  • 2010: Presidential elections finally held after multiple delays. Ouattara declared the winner, Gbagbo refuses to go after UN says he lost
  • 2011: Captured by French forces and handed over to Ouattara supporters

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Besieged Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo has been detained in the main city Abidjan and delivered to the headquarters of his elected successor.

He reportedly surrendered to Alassane Ouattara's forces after French tanks advanced on his residence.

Mr Gbagbo had been refusing to cede power to Mr Ouattara after losing November's presidential election.

France said pro-Ouattara troops had detained him, but an aide to Mr Gbagbo said it was French special forces.

Mr Gbagbo was then taken to the city's Golf Hotel, where Mr Ouattara has his headquarters.

UN peacekeepers have accused pro-Gbabgo forces of endangering the civilian population, and had asked French troops in Ivory Coast to act against the defiant leader's heavy weapons.

Ivory Coast's permanent representative to the UN, Youssoufou Bamba, said Mr Gbagbo would stand trial.

In London, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said that if charges were brought, Mr Gbagbo should be tried in an orderly manner.

'Gbagbo has surrendered'

Forces loyal to Mr Ouattara launched an offensive from their stronghold in the north at the end of March, after months of political deadlock during which Mr Gbagbo refused to recognise his rival's election victory.

As they closed in on Mr Gbagbo's power base in Abidjan, UN and French attack helicopters targeted heavy weapons being used by his forces.

Attempts to negotiate his exit failed, and his forces appeared to be making a comeback by the end of last week, even threatening the hotel used by Mr Ouattara.

On Sunday, UN and French helicopters launched a new wave of air strikes, and on Monday French tanks were seen advancing on the residence.

The UN announced that Mr Gbagbo had surrendered to Mr Ouattara's forces.

"The United Nations mission in Cote d'Ivoire [Ivory Coast] has confirmed that former President Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered to the forces of Alassane Ouattara and is currently in their custody," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Anne Ouloto, a spokeswoman for Mr Ouattara, told AFP news agency that Mr Gbagbo was at the Golf Hotel with his wife and his son Michel.

The hotel is protected by both pro-Ouattara forces and UN peacekeepers.

French denial

France's ambassador to Ivory Cost, Jean-Marc Simon, told AFP news agency: "Laurent Gbagbo was arrested by the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast and taken to the Golf Hotel."

AFP added that eyewitnesses had seen pro-Ouattara forces entering the presidential compound while French and UN armoured vehicles stood on a road leading to the complex.

However, an aide to Mr Gbagbo, Toussaint Alain, told Reuters news agency from Paris: "Gbagbo has been arrested by French special forces in his residence and has been handed over to the rebel leaders."

An unnamed French government source denied the report.

"Mr Gbagbo was arrested by Mr Ouattara's troops, that is true, but not by French special forces, who did not go into the enclosure of Mr Gbagbo's residence," the source told AFP.

Whether it was by Mr Ouattara's forces or the French is still open to question, the BBC's Mark Doyle reports from Abidjan.

According to our correspondent's sources, it was the French army who were in the lead heading towards the residence of Mr Gbagbo on Monday with a heavily armoured column.


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At the scene
Mark Doyle
BBC News, Abidjan

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Senior diplomatic sources say Mr Gbagbo was arrested by forces loyal to Mr Ouattara, and a senior French military source tells me not a single French soldier was present at his arrest.

Who arrested him and how it happened is very significant. If Mr Ouattara is perceived to have been put in power by the French, he will have trouble governing because the nationalists will say he is just a puppet.

If Mr Ouattara is fully in charge of all of the disparate forces loyal to him it is unlikely he would allow Mr Gbagbo to be mistreated or killed. He could be put on trial for alleged war crimes.

Even if other soldiers are in charge, there are UN peacekeeping forces at the Golf Hotel where Mr Gbagbo is said to have been taken, and they will be keeping a very close eye on what is going on.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13039825



older version of article

Quote:
Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has been detained, after being snatched from his besieged residence in the country's main city, Abidjan.

News that he was being held was broken by a Gbagbo aide and confirmed by France's ambassador and forces loyal to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

French tanks earlier advanced on the presidential residence in Abidjan.

Mr Gbagbo has been refusing to cede power to Mr Ouattara after losing November's presidential election.

There were conflicting accounts about how Mr Gbagbo had been captured, with France's ambassador saying he had been taken by troops loyal to Mr Ouattara and an aide to Mr Gbagbo saying French special forces had been involved.

A spokesman for Mr Ouattara told Reuters that Mr Gbagbo had been taken to the city's Golf Hotel, where Mr Ouattara has his headquarters.

UN peacekeepers have accused Gbabgo forces of endangering the civilian population, and had asked French troops in Ivory Coast to act against the defiant leader's heavy weapons.

French denial

Forces loyal to Mr Ouattara launched an offensive from their stronghold in the north at the end of March, after months of political deadlock during which Mr Gbagbo refused to recognise his rival's election victory.

As they closed in on Mr Gbagbo's power base in Abidjan, UN and French attack helicopters targeted heavy weapons being used by his forces.

Attempts to negotiate his exit failed, and his forces appeared to be making a comeback by the end of last week, even threatening the hotel used by Mr Ouattara.

On Sunday, UN and French helicopters launched a new wave of air strikes, and on Monday French tanks were seen advancing on the residence.

France's ambassador to Ivory Cost, Jean-Marc Simon, told AFP news agency: "Laurent Gbagbo was arrested by the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast and taken to the Golf Hotel."

AFP added that eyewitnesses had seen pro-Ouattara forces entering the presidential compound while French and UN armoured vehicles stood on a road leading to the complex.

However, an aide to Mr Gbagbo, Toussaint Alain, told Reuters news agency from Paris: "Gbagbo has been arrested by French special forces in his residence and has been handed over to the rebel leaders."

An unnamed French government source denied the report.

"Mr Gbagbo was arrested by Mr Ouattara's troops, that is true, but not by French special forces, who did not go into the enclosure of Mr Gbagbo's residence," the source told AFP.

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:50 PM
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Re: Ivory Coast's Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo Arrested (11 April 2011)

thx for the info.

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Old 04-11-2011, 03:48 PM
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Re: Ivory Coast's Ex-President Laurent Gbagbo Arrested (11 April 2011)

put his fucking head on a stick!!!!

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