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Ivory Coast: a long road to reconciliation

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Ivory Coast: a long road to reconciliation


Laurent Gbagbo’s residence now lies in ruins.

The destruction bears witness to the military onslaught needed to remove Ivory Coast’s reluctant-to-leave leader, once and for all. Since Monday’s capture in Abidjan, looters have been picking through the debris and taking anything of value.

Looking submissive and startled after his arrest, the former Ivorian strongman seemed a shadow of his former self, his defiance replaced by surrender.

“When the fighting finished, I told them to show a white handkerchief,” he told a reporter.

His wife Simone looked equally subdued. A trial almost certainly lies ahead for Gbagbo, now said to have been moved out of Abidjan. But the Ouattara camp has guaranteed his safety.

On the streets of Abidjan, security may still be days or even weeks away. The winners in this battle are celebrating their victory while Gbagbo’s loyalist losers may well be plotting their revenge.

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