News / Africa

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Captured, Taken to Ouattara HQ

Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo  (L) and his wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf in Abidjan, after they were arrested, Apr 11 2011
Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo (L) and his wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf in Abidjan, after they were arrested, Apr 11 2011

Defiant Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has been captured at his residence, ending a four-month power struggle in the West African country.

The now-former president surrendered Monday to forces backing the country's internationally-recognized president, Alassane Ouattara. Pro-Ouattara fighters and French special forces advanced on the residence after airstrikes by French and United Nations helicopters on the presidential compound, where Mr. Gbagbo was entrenched with supporters.

Mr. Gbagbo had refused for months to cede power to Mr. Ouattara, the U.N.-certified winner of last November's presidential election.  

A spokesman for the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast says about 300 members of Mr. Gbagbo's guard surrendered ahead of their leader's capture. He also says no U.N. personnel were involved in the final assault.

Mr. Gbagbo and his wife are now being held at Mr. Ouattara's headquarters, Abidjan's Golf Hotel. The U.N. peacekeeping chief, Alain Le Roy, says Mr. Gbagbo is being held by Mr. Ouattara's forces but asked for and received U.N. protection.

Mr. Ouattara's television station showed images of a tired-looking Mr. Gbagbo in a hotel room, wearing a white T-shirt and surrounded by several people.

Mr. Ouattara's prime minister, Guillaume Soro, told French television that pro-Ouattara forces are now working to secure Abidjan. He called on the remaining pro-Gbagbo forces to stop fighting and switch sides.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the pro-Ouattara forces said that operations are underway to find key Gbagbo supporters such as youth leader Charles Ble Goude.

French and U.N. helicopters initially struck pro-Gbagbo positions in Abidjan last Monday.  U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said the attacks were meant to prevent Gbagbo forces from attacking civilians with mortars and other heavy weapons.  

Abidjan has endured more than four months of fighting between Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters since the election dispute began in early December. The U.N. said the conflict displaced some 1 million Ivorians, with more than 100,000 fleeing to neighboring Liberia.

Mr. Gbagbo had been president of Ivory Coast since being named the winner of the disputed 2000 election.  He survived a 2002 civil war that split the country into rebel and government-controlled areas.

Mr. Gbagbo then stayed in power more than five years past his mandate, as elections were repeatedly postponed.

You May Like

Photogallery Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs