France Joins U.N. Strike in Ivory Coast, Prompting Gbagbo’s Surrender


International intervention in Ivory Coast escalated yesterday when France joined the United Nations in firing on Laurent Gbagbo’s residence, his offices, and two of his military bases. Gbagbo lost the presidential election in November but has refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner, and has been firing on civilians with heavy weapons. In the past few days, 500,000 people fled the city of Abidjan. A spokesman for Gbagbo said his home has been hit at least 50 times by a UN Mi-24 helicopter and that a major military camp had been destroyed during Monday’s attack. Earlier today, Gbagbo was reportedly in a bunker under his home negotiating a possible surrender with the French ambassador as Ouattara’s forces overran the presidential palace. Yesterday, it was U.N. forces who found themselves in a bunker under their headquarters as Gbagbo loyalists shot at them with snipers.

Ouattara’s forces now expect it to be a matter of hours before Gbagbo’s reign is over. As for France’s newfound military interventionism post-Libya, that may just be getting started.

Gbagbo residence hit 50 times in Ivory Coast [AP via Yahoo]
Ivory Coast Leader Cornered After U.N. and France Strike [NYT]
France, U.N. Strike at Ivory Coast Regime [WSJ]
Related: U.N. Helicopters Fire on Laurent Gbagbo’s Forces in Ivory Coast