Ivory Coast strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, was captured on Monday after a week-long siege of his residence and placed under the control of his rival claimant to power, according to the French military and a senior American diplomat.
Both French ground forces and troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised winner of Ivory Coast’s election last year, had pressed into the city toward the residence where Gbagbo has been holed up.
“It is my pleasure to announce officially that the former president of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, has been arrested,” said Youssoufou Bamba, Ouattara’s representative to the UN. “He is alive and he will be brought to justice to respond to the crimes he committed...”
For months, Gbagbo has refused to accept Ouattara’s victory in the elections last year, insisting that he is still the legitimate president of this West African nation. A senior American diplomat, who spoke in return for anonymity because of the fluidity of the situation, said Gbagbo was now being held at Ouattara’s headquarters at the Golf Hôtel in Abidjan.