Fighters In Ivory Coast Pushed Back From Gbagbo's Home
Gbagbo has been holed up in a bunker on the palace grounds, refusing to acknowledge the victory of his opponent in November's presidential election.
Ouattara won the election for the Ivory Coast's top spot from incumbent Gbagbo with 54 percent of the vote. Gbagbo received 46 percent.
Since the results, the incumbent has said he is still the rightful leader of the Ivory Coast, causing turmoil in the country that is teetering on the bring of civil war.
The Atlantic Journal Constitution reports on the fighters' attempt to oust Gbagbo Wednesday:
Yves Doumbia, a spokesman for the armed group trying to topple incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo and install democratically elected president Alassane Ouattara, said their fighters on Wednesday pierced the perimeter of Gbagbo's compound.
But he said that soon after, they were forced to retreat under heavy fire. He said they were regrouping for a second assault.
"At the current moment they have not yet captured Gbagbo but it will happen soon," Affoussy Bamba told the Associated Press by telephone from Abidjan. "They opened the gates and noted that the residence is surrounded by heavy weaponry," she said. "Now the objective is to capture him."
From the Star-Exponent:
Gbagbo has suffered debilitating losses in the past two days. United Nations Mi-24 helicopters attacked and destroyed his arms depots on Monday. On Tuesday, his soldiers were seen abandoning their posts across the city, some rushing inside a church to tear off their uniforms and dump their weapons before discreetly exiting in civilian clothes.
Yet the 65-year-old Gbagbo - a former history professor - appears to have calculated his rival's weakness: Ouattara, an intellectual who has spent decades abroad, knows that he needs to take Gbagbo alive in order to maintain international support, and avoid further alienating the 46 percent of the electorate that voted for Gbagbo in last year's presidential election.
Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary general, said Wednesday to the Telegraph that Gbagbo must leave.
"He has created a situation where many innocent people have been killed," said former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. "He has deepened the divisions within the country, and I would hope that when Presdient Ouattara takes over he will do everything possible to heal and reconcile the nation."
Watch Annan's remarks to the Telegraph below: