by Sola Fasasi
Ivory Coast and the world breathed a sigh of relief a few hours ago as finally, reports filtered in that former leader Laurent Gbagbo was captured in his home, after months of holding on to power and causing unrest in his home country. “Gbagbo has been arrested by French special forces in his residence and has been handed over to the rebel leaders,” adviser Toussaint Alain told Reuters. French troops were highly instrumental in the capture of this strongman, as the military forces deployed tanks close to the residence of Gbagbo and his family.
MSNBC.com reports saying: “An eyewitness at the Golf Hotel where election winner Alassane Ouattara had been trying to run the presidency said he saw Gbagbo, his wife and son enter the hotel around midday Monday. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
Gbagbo’s time as the president of Ivory Coast ran out half a decade ago, but he still held on to power. After finally conceding to international pressure to hold a presidential election in November last year, he lost to Alassane Ouattara, winning only 46% of the vote, but refused to step down. Ouattara’s ambassador to France, Ali Coulibaly, spoke on France-Info radio earlier today, maintaining that Gbagbo would be “treated with humanity”. “It’s a victory … considering all the evil that Laurent Gbagbo inflicted on Ivory Coast,” he declared.