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Abidjan conflict: Last hours?

Andrew Harding | 14:30 UK time, Tuesday, 5 April 2011

We have just heard news from United Nations peacekeeping forces here in Ivory Coast who say there are what they call "new developments" in the political front in Abidjan.

Disputed President Laurent Gbagbo's closest advisers, both military and civilian are leaving him, while with a handful of persons he is known to have retreated to a basement bunker of the presidential residence.

That has been confirmed by local commanders loyal to his rival Alassane Ouattara that I have been speaking to here.

I don't believe the Ouattara forces see what is happening as a ceasefire at the moment.

They - as far as I understand from senior commanders - are negotiating the unconditional surrender of Mr Gbagbo and his armed forces.

The forces here are very clear that they will carry on fighting until the surrender.

The UN, the message goes on, "calls on the special forces which continue fighting in various areas of Abidjan, especially around the presidential palace and the presidential residence, to lay down their arms with a view to preserving the lives of the civilian population as well as their own life".

The fact that the UN is saying that and confirming that is a big new development and of course a lot will depend on whether the militias in town can also follow those orders.

But we may be approaching the last few hours of this conflict in Ivory Coast.


  • Comment number 1.

    the unlawful killing of anothers human beings’ the loss of a human being inflicts enormous grief upon the individuals close to the victim [Laurent Gbagbo], as well as the fact that the good order within Cote D’Ivoere, most people both present and in antiquity have considered it a most serious crime worthy of the harshest of punishment.

    Shame on cat-sucker President Laurent Gbagbo

  • Comment number 2.

    Yet another African tyrant who will not give way graciously. What is so bad about a bit of retirement and relaxation. Mugabe, you are next. Learn from Ivory Coast.

  • Comment number 3.

    Mr Gbagbo is just a fool. He is just a tipical example of how leaders in Africa rules Africa with greed and power corruption. Lost an election but has been sworn in into office as president. This is madness. There is no need for negotiations. He just has to be killed to set an example for the rest who are just as greed as Gbagbo. Children of Africa wake up against these old greedy crucks. Harry-Finland.

  • Comment number 4.

    Gbagbo is a fool, not sure what he is trying to prove? - He wants to remain President but the man is in hiding I'm not sure how someone can rule a Country from underground in a tanker - the guy is a fool - admit defeat Gbagbo you lost :))))

  • Comment number 5.

    After hearing Gbagbo's rants about "foreign interference" and then seeing how well armed Ouattara's "rebels" are, I do wonder who armed them, and why.

  • Comment number 6.

    Wait a minute, how could a president (Gbagbo) be hidding underground.? It is too ridiculous and what a shame on gbagbo and his allies. Justice shall prevail soon and there is known world for those that inflict pains in others.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is the problem with the ruling tribes of africa. they think power belongs to them to lord it over others


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