Ivory Coast’s ex-president Laurent Gbagbo has been detained. His arrest came after French armoured vehicles closed in on the compound where he has been holed up in a bunker.
A column of more than 30 French armoured vehicles moved in on Gbagbo’s residence in central Abidjan after helicopter gunships attacked the compound overnight.
A French Foreign Ministry source said Gbagbo had been arrested by Ouattara’s forces backed by the United Nations and French forces.
Affoussy Bamba, a spokeswoman for Ouattara, said Gbagbo had been taken to the Hotel Golf in Abidjan, where Ouattara has had his headquarters since the presidential election last November.
In the eyes of the international community, Gbagbo lost last November’s election against Ouattara but has refused to leave office.
Deadly fighting between the two factions has fed fears of a humanitarian crisis in the country.
France, the former colonial power in Ivory Coast with more than 1,600 troops in the country, took a lead role in efforts to persuade Gbagbo to relinquish power, infuriating his supporters who accuse Paris of neo-colonialism.