Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo Negotiates Surrender
Laurent Gbagbo Negotiating Surrender to Allasane Ouattara
Fighting continues in Abidjan as Ivory Coast's competing Presidents, Laurent Gbagbo and Allasane Ouattara, vie for supremacy. However, Gbagbo's top generals are negotiating the incumbent's surrender as Gbagbo and his family hide in a bunker beneath his residence. Pro-Ouattara forces have already taken the Presidential palace
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that Laurent Gbagbo is close to leaving.
UN and French troops have waded into the fighting, opening fire against Gbagbo's forces. This comes after a UN mandate to protect Ivorian civilians, as per UN Resolution 1975, which is endorsed by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).
The attack on the presidential palace comes after an unusual intervention by helicopter gunships of the UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast, as well as members of the French “Licorne” military force stationed in that country. The use of "all necessary measures" to protect civilians and seize heavy weapons was approved by the UN Security Council and requested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, after what the UN called an “intensified” use of heavy weapons against civilians by Gbagbo’s troops.