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Former Ivory Coast Leader Gbagbo Captured

Former Ivory Coast Leader Gbagbo Captured

Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast strongman who has, for the past five months, refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of the country’s elections last November, was captured after a week-long standoff at his residence.

“There [was] heavy fighting involving French soldiers, the United Nations and our forces against Mr. Gbagbo’s forces,” said a spokeswoman for Ouattara. “Once all heavy weapons were destroyed, Mr. Gbagbo was there and we arrested him.”

The country has existed in a state of violent paralysis for the past week, as Gbagbo hid out in a bunker in his private residence in an attempt to cling to power as the country disintegrated.  Horrible atrocities have marked the conflict; earlier this month, hundreds of civilians were massacred in Duékoué, a town in western Ivory Coast.  The really disturbing element of this violence (apart from the fact that many innocent citizens died) is that Ouattara’s troops seem to have participated in the killing of civilians.  The International Criminal Court has said that they will launch an investigation into the event, and Ouattara says that he will begin an investigation of his own.

An end to the fighting will, obviously, be important to restoring everyday life, especially in the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan.  French and UN forces intervened more forcefully in an attempt to forestall more civilian death.  Life has been nearly impossible in Abidjan, where citizens were trapped inside their homes without food, water or electricity.  The French military is, according to CNN, working to reconnect disrupted water and electricity.

We’ll keep you posted on the unfolding situation in Ivory Coast – but Gbagbo’s capture is certainly an important step in ending the violent, destructive, months-long conflict, even though the many refugees mean that Ivory Coast’s struggles are far from over.

Over 10,000 Care2 members showed their concern for the innocent citizens of the Ivory Coast by signing our petition asking for their protection. Thanks you for your concerns. We are glad to see progress is being made in the Ivory Coast.


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5:17PM PDT on May 11, 2011


7:51PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

I'm so happy to hear that things are starting to turn around for these poor people. I can't even imagine not have water and electricity for weeks.Thank you for your information so that we can see how blessed we all are in these United States.I will keep them in my prayers.

6:22PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Ideally he-- and all political leaders who abuse power-- will face justice in international criminal courts and if found guilty, imprisonment.

5:10PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Justice prevails!

1:31PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Finally an endpoint and the country can start getting back to normal.

Cote d'Ivoire is a potentially wealthy and prosperous country. It was like that before this episode of civil war which dates back to 2002. Abidjan used to be one of the most beautiful cities on the W. African coast.

6:10AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

The situation in the Ivory Cost is not going to be solved in the short time, but it certainly is a step forward. Thanks for sharing.

4:24AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

This man loves himself much more than his country, which suffered and still is suffering from his denial of the elections. Such a man should not be in power

2:39AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:03AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Exciting breaking news.

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