Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo has long refused to loosen his grip on power, even after the international community recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the Ivory Coast's presidential election in November and, more recently, Ouattara's forces blockaded his residence as French and U.N. helicopters attacked the compound overhead. Even yesterday, after he was captured from his burning residence and handed over to Ouattara at a nearby hotel, Gbagbo remained intransigent. As of last night, Gbagbo was refusing to sign a document formally handing over power to Ouattara, according to the Associated Press, even as Ouattara called for a ceasefire, promised to bring Gbagbo to justice, and suggested a truth and reconciliation commission to reunite the fragmented country.
News reports today provide other evidence that the bloody four-month long power struggle between Gbagbo and Ouattara has not yet receded. The BBC is reporting gunfire and mortars in the city of Abidjan, though it says it's not clear whether pro-Gbagbo forces or criminals are responsible. "Troops now consolidating their hold on Abidjan will need to act forcefully to ensure there is not a rash of reprisal killings," notes the BBC's Andrew Harding.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.