Gbagbo era now over in Ivory Coast: France

8th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The era of Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo is now over, the French foreign ministry said on Friday, after his internationally recognised rival blockaded the veteran strongman in his residence.

"We have entered the post-Gbagbo era. The end is now in sight," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told journalists. "The Gbagbo era is now over."

Valero said Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had spoken with the man deemed to have won a November presidential run-off, Alassane Ouattara, on Friday morning after his forces swept through to main city Abidjan to confront Gbagbo.

The spokesman denied that French forces -- which are deployed in Abidjan in support of a UN peacekeeping mission -- had been involved in the blockade by Ouattara's forces of Gbagbo at his residence in the commercial capital.

"He is in his cellar," Valero said of Gbagbo, who has refused to surrender despite losing control of the city. "France is not taking part in any of the public order or other measures taken by Ouattara concerning Gbagbo."

© 2011 AFP

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