Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Chaos Escalates in Ivory Coast Over Disputed Presidency
Laurent Gbagbo was arrested on Monday (11.04.11) afternoon after French forces in the former colony closed in on the bunker where he had been holed up for the past week. Gbagbo had been in power for more than 10 years, and had refused to step down after his rival Alassane Ouattara won a November presidential election according to UN-certified results.
The erstwhile beacon of prosperity and stability in West Africa has been held hostage for five months by incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power after losing a November runoff presidential election. Instead, he has mobilized the state apparatus and a fanatical core of young militants against the citizens who voted for his challenger, Alassane Ouattara. Daily battles rage between a burgeoning pro-Ouattara insurgency in Abidjan known as the "invisible commandos," and the army, which backs Gbagbo. More then 500 deaths since mid-December, according to the U.N. mission there, known as ONUCI.