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April 11, 2011

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

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

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Monday, April 11, 2011

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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.



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April 9, 2011

Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan

Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

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According to the United Nations, forces loyal to disputed Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo have resumed fighting in the city of Abidjan. According to reports, the troops regained control of parts of the city.

After a brief lull in fighting, while it was reported that Gbagbo officials were negotiating a surrender, violence resumed. A U.N. official said that Gbagbo forces “clearly used the lull of Tuesday as a trick to reinforce their position,” and now control the Plateau and Cocody regions of Abidjan.

Gbagbo forces are reportedly using heavy weaponry, including rocket launchers and grenade launchers, as well as tanks and armored troop transports. The French ambassador’s house was reportedly attacked, resulting in counter-strikes by French helicopters. Gbagbo forces deny being involved in the attack.

Toussaint Alain, an advisor to Gbagbo, has denied reports that Gbagbo forces are in possession of heavy weapons, claiming that previous French attacks had destroyed their weaponry. He said that “France is just looking for a pretext to get rid of President Laurent Gbagbo.”



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April 6, 2011

Disputed Ivory Coast president Gbagbo negotiating surrender

Disputed Ivory Coast president Gbagbo negotiating surrender

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
Other stories from Côte d’Ivoire
  • 28 August 2012: 2012 makes five Paralympic Games for Côte d’Ivoire
  • 5 December 2011: Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity
  • 11 May 2011: Former F.A. chairman alleges FIFA 2018 World Cup vote was riddled with bribes, corruption
  • 11 April 2011: Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel
  • 9 April 2011: Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan
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The United Nations has announced that three Ivory Coast military leaders are in the process of negotiating a potential surrender for disputed president Laurent Gbagbo.

After several days of fighting, during which forces loyal to internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara moved south towards the city of Abidjan, Gbagbo is reported to have taken shelter in a bunker underneath the presidential palace in Abidjan. Pro-Ouattara forces are reported to have surrounded the palace.

According to the UN and French officials, an agreement that would see Gbagbo relinquish power is close to being finalized. Military forces loyal to Gbagbo have already declared a ceasefire. According to France’s foreign minister, Alain Juppe, “[w]e are very close to convincing him [Gbagbo] to leave power.”

The military officials involved — the heads of the army, police and guard forces — are reported to be requesting guarantees of safety in return for Gbagbo’s surrender. A Gbagbo spokesperson, Ahoua Don Mello, said that “direct negotiations based on African Union recommendations” had taken place, though Gbabgo himself said that “on a political level, no decision has yet been taken.”



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April 5, 2011

UN attacks Gbagbo military positions in Ivory Coast

UN attacks Gbagbo military positions in Ivory Coast

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

File photo of Laurent Gbagbo
Image: Zenman.

A spokesman for the United Nations has announced that UN helicopters attacked an encampment of President Laurent Gbagbo’s fighters in Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) to stop the use of heavy weapons and shelling of civilians.

“We launched an operation to neutralise heavy weapons Gbagbo’s special forces have been using against the civilian population for the last three months. We destroyed them in four locations”, said spokesman Hamadoun Toure in an email. In concert with the UN, France has deployed an additional 350 peacekeepers to compliment its 7,500 troops already in the country. It was also reported that the French were in control of the airport in Abidjan.

The recent violence in Ivory Coast stems from Gbagbo’s refusal to accept his loss in the recent presidential elections. He has stated that he will not transfer power to his successor Alassane Ouattara, the declared winner. Gbagbo’s spokesman, Abdon George Bayeto, told the BBC the elections were rigged as an “international plot against the incumbent” and was going to continue fighting forces loyal to Ouattara.

Lieutenant Jean-Marc Tago of the Ivory Coast army announced the return of General Phillippe Mangou. Although it has been reported that the general’s family was being held hostage by Gbagbo forces, Tago claims this is untrue, saying, “The general is with us, and has always been with us. Our plan is to defend the institutions of the republic against all its enemies, against the rebels, against the mercenaries, against the [United Nations] and all those who are attacking the institutions of the republic commanded by President Laurent Gbagbo.”

British foreign secretary William Hague said in a statement, “We call for an end to the violence, for defeated former president Gbagbo to step down, for all human rights abuses to be investigated, and for the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes which appear to have taken place.”

The crisis has created a humanitarian problem as one million of Abidjan’s four million people has been displaced.


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March 18, 2011

United Nations says Ivory Coast shelling may be \’war crime\’

United Nations says Ivory Coast shelling may be ‘war crime’

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Friday, March 18, 2011

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After 25 people were killed Thursday by shells fired into the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, the United Nations has issued a statement condemning the incident.

The shelling on Thursday resulted in around a hundred casualties, 25 of which were deaths. At least six shells were reportedly fired from military barracks into the district of Abobo, a region that supports Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the Ivory Coast after elections in late 2010.

According to the UN, forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who also claims to have won the election, were responsible for the shelling, though Gbagbo’s supporters deny this.

The UN said that the incident was an act that “perpetrated against civilians, could constitute a crime against humanity.” Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that the UN will “continue to take the necessary steps to protect the civilian population” in the country.

A spokesperson for Gbagbo, Ahoua Don Mello, however, denied responsibility for the shelling, claiming that the UN allegations were part of a “conspiracy” with Ouattara and France, the Ivory Coast’s former colonial ruler, that would result in the removal of Gbagbo from power.

France also condemned the shelling, saying it was “deliberate massacre of civilians,” and requested that the UN Security Council impose sanctions against Gbagbo and his allies.

Unrest since the presidential election is estimated to have killed 410 people and caused 450,000 people to leave their homes.


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January 7, 2011

Ivory Coast expels British, Canadian ambassadors

Ivory Coast expels British, Canadian ambassadors

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Friday, January 7, 2011

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Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo in 2007
Image: VOA News.

The incumbent leader of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, is expelling the Canadian and British ambassadors, according to state television.

State television reports the envoys are being expelled as a reciprocal measure, as the respective countries did not recognise Gbagbo’s leadership. This is following his decision not to step down despite international recognition of rival Alassane Ouattara winning the November 2010 presidential election. Canada withdrew recognition of Louis L.B. Bony — Gbagbo’s ambassador to Canada — on December 29, with the United Kingdom following suit on December 31. In addition, France, the former colonial power of the Ivory Coast, has stated that it will recognise Ouattara’s appointee, as has the United Nations.

Although the ambassadors have been expelled, their diplomatic privileges will not be revoked until such time as they leave the Ivory Coast.

Outtara, who won 54% of the vote, which was backed by the United Nations and the country’s Electoral Commission, remains under protection by UN peacekeepers, in a hotel in the main city and former capital of Abidjan.

The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom issued a travel warning in force for the Ivory Coast last month, advising British nationals to “leave by commercial means, if safe to do so”, due to the threat of “widespread instability in Abidjan and other major cities. The Foreign Office [of the UK] continues to advise against all travel to Cote d’Ivoire”.

In a separate incident, the United States announced that US citizens were to be barred from dealing financially with Gbagbo, and that the assets of Gbagbo, his wife and three aides, had been frozen. Gbagbo retains control of the state army and media.



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December 18, 2010

UN convoy attacked by gunman in Ivory Coast as peacekeeping forces ordered to leave country

UN convoy attacked by gunman in Ivory Coast as peacekeeping forces ordered to leave country

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The United Nations mission in Abidjan, Ivory Coast has said that one of its convoys and mission headquarters was attacked by masked gunmen in military uniforms. According to the mission, a civilian vehicle with six men inside approached the convoy. When the convoy approached the compound’s entrance the gunmen opened fire.

“[A convoy] was followed by a group of six armed men dressed in military clothing on board a civilian vehicle. On arriving outside the UNOCI headquarters in Sebroko, the occupants of the civilian vehicle fired shots in the direction of the UNOCI patrol as it entered the mission compound,” said a statement from the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI). Shots were fired back at the gunmen, but none were hit. There were no reports of any injuries.

The attack comes as President Laurent Gbagbo ordered all UN and French peacekeeping forces to leave the country. “The government demands the departure of the UNOCI and LICORNE [French] forces in Ivory Coast and is opposed to any renewal of their mandate,” said government spokesman Jacqueline Oble. Gbagbo claimed victory in the nation’s elections on November 28. Alassane Ouattara won the presidential run-off election on December 3 according to the country’s electoral commission. However, the Constitutional Council has contested the announcement.

Though the results are backed by the nation’s top legal body, deadly protests have erupted with demonstrators and Ouattara calling the election a fraud. The French government and the UN have also rejected the election results. On Thursday, according to Amnesty International, nine unarmed demonstrators were fatally shot by Ivorian security forces during a mass protest in Abidjan.



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  • “Alassane Ouattara ‘wins’ Ivory Coast presidential election” — Wikinews, December 4, 2010

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March 29, 2009

Stadium disaster claims lives at football World Cup qualifier match in Ivory Coast

Stadium disaster claims lives at football World Cup qualifier match in Ivory Coast

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Disasters and accidents

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the disaster occurred at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
Image: Zenman.

A stadium disaster has claimed well over a dozen lives in the Ivory Coast. A crush, which may have occurred after a wall collapse, took place today at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan and according to interior minister Desire Tagro killed 22 people and wounded 132 others.

Different sources put the dead at 19. “We have 19 dead and many seriously injured,” a member of the military told Reuters. The Sports Minister gave this version of events: “Spectators who did not buy tickets were jostling before the match. They smashed one of the main gates of the stadium. They were trampled.” Tagro also said that fans trying to get in were crushed.

According to Sky Sports, a wall collapse caused the fatalities while the injured were hurt when pushing spectators caused a panic which became a stampede. 50,000 people had turned up to watch a qualifying match for the football 2010 World Cup between Ivory Coast and Malawi. The Associated Press also said that police used tear gas in an effort to control the crowd.

The match was sold out due to low-price tickets. The game went ahead despite the pre-match incident and the Ivory Coast side won 5-0.



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