In Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo appears to be on the brink of finally agreeing to step down. The situation is confused however, In fact at one point it had been reported that he had already stepped down. He is also said to have asked for UN protection.
It is thought that one of the problems in the negotiations might be finding a refuge for Gbagbo. It is possible he could go to Angola as he has a close relationship with President Santos, and South Africa appears to be another possibility. He is unlikely to choose anywhere in the west or in Europe because there he may well be sought by the International Criminal Court.
Laurent Gbagbo has spent most of the day in an underground bunker at the presidential palace which is in the north of the economic capital city of Abidjan. Negotiations were carried out following fierce fighting across the country and UN airstrikes on the presidential palace.
The violence flared up after last November’s elections which were won by Gbagbo’s rival Alassane Ouattara. The results were internationally recognised and the UN declared him to be the legitimate president of Ivory Coast. However, the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down and leave power.
His refusal to hand over to the rightful president has resulted in months of unrest and violence.