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Gbagbo surrenders to Ouattara's forces: UN

[ 2011-04-12 10:54]     字号 [] [] []  
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Cote d'Ivoire's Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered to the forces of presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara and is being held by them, the United Nations said on Monday.

"The United Nations mission in Cote d'Ivoire has confirmed that former president Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered to the forces of Alassane Ouattara and is currently in their custody," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Haq said the UN mission, known as UNOCI, was "providing protection and security in accordance with its mandate". He said UNOCI was mandated to protect political stakeholders in Cote d'Ivoire, which included Gbagbo.

Gbagbo and his wife Simone were brought to Alassane Ouattara's base, Ouattara's spokeswoman said.

The official, Anne Ouloto, said the former first couple had been brought to Abidjan's Golf Hotel, where Ouattara's camp is based, around 1 pm local time shortly after their arrest.

"He's here with his wife and his son Michel. I can see them now," she said, speaking by telephone from the former lagoon-side resort now turned into an armed camp protected by former rebel troops and UN peacekeepers.

UN and French helicopters attacked forces loyal to Gbagbo overnight into Monday, damaging the presidential residence in Abidjan and destroying heavy weapons that UN chief Ban Ki-moon ordered silenced.

The head of the United Nations and French President Nicolas Sarkozy authorized the strikes that began on Sunday evening, accusing Gbagbo of continuing to use heavy weapons against civilians.

Sarkozy said on Monday the strikes were in retaliation for attacks on UN personnel, foreign diplomatic missions and civilians.

Gbagbo refused to step down after his rival Alassane Ouattara won last November's presidential election, according to results certified by the UN, reigniting a civil war that has claimed more than a thousand lives and uprooted a million people.

Helicopter attacks a week ago on Gbagbo's heavy weapons by the UN and France appeared to bring Gbagbo's forces to the point of surrender, but they used a lull in fighting to regroup before taking more ground in Abidjan.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Gbagbo surrenders to Ouattara's forces: UN

About the broadcaster:

Gbagbo surrenders to Ouattara's forces: UN

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.