Clinton: Capture of Ivory Coast President Is a Lesson to Dictators Everywhere

French armored vehicles close in on the compound where self-proclaimed Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was holed up; Gbagbo refused to step down in November after losing the presidential election, reigniting a civil war.

Reuters
Reuters
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Reuters
Reuters

The contested Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested on Monday after French armored vehicles closed in on the compound where the self-proclaimed president had been holed up in a bunker in Abidjan.

"The capture of the Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo sends a signal to dictators everywhere that they cannot ignore the results of free and fair elections and there will be consequences if they cling to power," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

Recently arrested Ivory Coast's President Laurent Gbagbo in 2003.Credit: Reuters

Gbagbo refused to step down when Alassane Ouattara won last November's presidential election, according to results certified by the United Nations, reigniting a civil war that has claimed more than a thousand lives and uprooted a million people.

"This transition sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the world: they may not disregard the voice of their own people in free and fair elections and there will be consequences for those who cling to power," Clinton said at the start of a joint news conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb.

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