Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel

Monday, April 11, 2011

Laurent Gbagbo has reportedly been detained by French elite forces.
Image: Voice of America.

Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president of Ivory Coast, is being taken to a hotel in the capital Abidjan to meet with internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara after the beseiged ruler was detained by forces loyal to the opposition.

The permanent representative of Ivory Coast to the United Nations in New York, Youssoufou Bamba, said Gbagbo, who he described as "alive and well", had been captured by opposition forces in a raid on his presidential palace in Abidjan and will stand trial. The prime minister in Ouattara's prospective government has called on Gbagbo loyalists to join the opposition this afternoon, reports indicate.

Bamba confirmed forces loyal to Ouattara had captured Gbagbo, rather than French or U.N. forces as had initially been reported. "The nightmare is over for the people of Ivory Coast, there is much celebration," Bamba said. "He is now being held in a safe place for the next steps to put him on trial." New video footage of Gbagbo has emerged, purportedly showing him detained in a hotel in Abidjan where Ouattara is staying.

Fighting has been continuing in the African state since a disputed election in November last year. Supporters of Ouattara claim he won the poll and is the rightful president, but Gbagbo has refused to stand down.