Gbagbo Still in Bunker as Forces Seize Home

Ouattara ambassador says the strongman is negotiating surrender
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2011 7:34 AM CDT
In this photo taken on Sunday, April 3, 2011, a UN peacekeeper from Jordan, patrols the streets of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.   (AP Photo/Jane Hahn)
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(Newser) – Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo is reportedly negotiating his surrender, as troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara have, with the help of helicopter attacks by the UN and the French, seized Gbagbo's presidential home in Abidjan. A senior diplomat said fighters were trying to coax Gbagbo out of the bunker he's been hiding in. The diplomat also revealed that Gbagbo's closest adviser and longtime friend had abandoned him, leaving the bunker to seek refuge inside the French ambassador's home, reports the AP.

The BBC reports that Gbagbo's rep told the AFP he is not yet ready to surrender. But the AP reports that Ouattara's ambassador to France said Gbagbo is negotiating exactly that, though he did not provide any details. "I'm not trying to be demagogical or to add to the disinformation, but according to the information that I have, he's negotiating his surrender because he has realized the end is near. The game is up," he said. (Read more Ivory Coast stories.)

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