Ivory Coast's Gbagbo negotiating his surrender: France

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo was Tuesday negotiating his surrender as rival forces laid siege to his residence in Abidjan, French leaders said.

"Two generals close to the former president Laurent Gbagbo are currently negotiating the conditions for surrender," Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, asked by journalists about reports that Gbagbo was in talks to step down, replied: "I am aware (of such talks)."

Juppe later told parliament that France was "on the brink" of convincing Gbagbo to stand down in favour of his rival, Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the former French colony.

The UN mission in the West African state said Gbagbo was hunkered down in a bunker at his residence in Abidjan, after calling for a ceasefire as Ouattara's forces cornered him.

© 2011 AFP

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