Ivory Coast: Ouattara forces storm Gbagbo residence – BBC

Forces opposing Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo tried to arrest him from his residence in Abidjan. Heavy fighting broke out around his compound, but forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo’s rival Alassane Ouattara appear to have broken off the attack. France said UN-brokered negotiations had broken down and accused Mr Gbagbo of negotiating terms of withdrawal.

Mr. Gbagbo claims he won his November run-off election, but election officials ruled Mr. Ouattara the winner. The result was confirmed by the United Nations, but Mr Gbagbo refused to resign. Gbagbo and his family are believed to have taken refuge in the basement of his military-controlled presidential palace. Military “inside the building”Firearms, rockets and mortar fire were reported around Mr Gbagbo’s residence in an upscale neighborhood in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. After two days of heavy fighting ended late Tuesday, negotiations with Mr Gbagbo continued overnight. But on Wednesday morning, the Uwatara faction seemed to have lost patience. “We will drive Laurent Gbagbo out of the hole and hand him over to the president of the republic,” said Siddiqui Konate, a spokesman for Ouattara Prime Minister Guillaume Soro. Residents living near Mr Gbagbo’s home told Reuters about the fighting and the explosion. “We also hear automatic fire and heavy weapon blasts. There are gunshots everywhere,” Alfred Quasi said.

A spokesman for Mr Ouattara said the militants were under strict orders not to harm Mr Gbagbo. By afternoon, however, the sounds of fighting were said to have died down and Ouattara’s forces had withdrawn. The BBC’s John James outside Abidjan says a new stalemate appears to be brewing as anti-Gbagbo forces may regroup for a night attack. In Paris, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Mr Gbagbo’s “ruthlessness” was the cause of the breakdown of talks. “The conditions set by President Ouattara are very clear.

He demands that Laurent Gbagbo accept his defeat paket wedding murah pekanbaru and recognize the victory of the legally elected president. “This is where we are today. Very sadly, my arms started talking again.” French and UN forces are trying to maintain security around Abidjan under a UN Security Council resolution, but Juppe said they were not involved in the attack on Mr. Gbagbo. 2tu.us

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