Tags: Ivory coast surrender

Ivory Coast Leader Surrenders, Seeks UN Aid

Tuesday, 05 Apr 2011 09:32 AM


The leaders of forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s former President Laurent Gbagbo said they will lay down their weapons as a four-month political crisis comes to a close.

Gbagbo is negotiating his exit from power, France 24 reported on its website, citing French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. Earlier, troops backing rival Alassane Ouattara captured most of the commercial capital, Abidjan.

Phillippe Mangou, the chief of staff of the army, and Bruno Dogbo Ble, the head of Gbagbo’s Republican Guard, told the United Nations they will stop fighting, UN spokesman Hanadoun Toure said.

“The are asking for the protection of the UN,” Toure said in a telephone interview from Abidjan today.

Ivory Coast has been locked in a political stalemate since an election on Nov. 28 that both Gbagbo, 65, and Ouattara, 69, claim to have won. While the UN, the U.S., the African Union and the European Union recognize Ouattara as the winner, Gbagbo has alleged voter fraud and refused to relinquish power.

Ouattara’s militia, known as the Republican Forces, overran Gbagbo’s residence today after six days of fighting in the country’s largest city, news agencies including the Associated Press reported. Gbagbo has taken refuge in a bunker, AP said, citing an unidentified diplomat.

Refuge

Alcide Djedje, the foreign minister in Gbagbo’s government, has taken refuge at the house of the French ambassador, Alan Lobognon, a spokesman for rebel forces in the country, said in an interview.

Gbagbo’s forces are unilaterally laying down arms, Djedje said in an interview on France24.

The surrender comes after French and UN helicopters fired on two army bases, the presidential palace and Gbagbo’s residence yesterday to put his heavy weapons out of action.

“I have been hearing machine gun fire and serious explosions since about 6 a.m.,” said Alain Yapi, a resident of the Cocody neighborhood, which houses Gbagbo’s residence.

The crisis has pushed up the price of cocoa, of which Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest producer, by as much as 33 percent over the past four months and caused the country to default on $2.3 billion of Eurobonds.

--With assistance from Franz Wild in Johannesburg, Jason McLure in Accra and Gregory Viscusi in Paris. Editors: Philip Sanders, John Fraher, Antony Sguazzin

To contact the reporters on this story: Pauline Bax and Olivier Monnier in Abidjan via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net; Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg 2011. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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