- Title: IVORY COAST: Abidjan celebrates Gbagbo's fall
- Date: 11th April 2011
- Summary: ADJAME, ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (APRIL 11, 2011) (REUTERS) PRO-OUATTARA ARMED YOUTH UNFOLD GIANT IVORY COAST FLAG IN STREET IN NEIGHBOURHOOD OF ADJAME PRO-OUATTARA YOUTH ON ROOF BRANDISHING WEAPONS AND CHEERING YOUNG PRO-OUATTARA MAN WEARING ELECTION T-SHIRT READING "RHDP (RALLY OF HOUPHOUETISTS FOR DEMOCRACY AND PEACE - a reference to former president Felix Houphouet-Boigny) SOLUTION TO CHANGE IVORY COAST" WITH OUATTARA PORTRAIT ON IT YOUNG MEN CHEERING AND HOLDING WEAPONS (SOUNDBITE) (French) YOUNG MAN WHO GAVE HIS NAME AS MOHAMED, SAYING: "It's truly an immense joy, truly immense, because it's now 10 years we've been in this crisis, and haven't moved forward, with no development, but thank God and thanks to Alassane, we can truly express our joy today. It's a new era, we can really go forward now, we feel it's going to be alright." SOLDIERS IN STREET CHANTING "WE ARE FREE, WE ARE FREE, ADO ADO (ALASSANE DRAMANE OUATTARA)" (SOUNDBITE) (French) CAPTAIN WANTO, SAYING: "Our work is not finished yet, there are still militias and mercenaries in town. We've lost too many loved ones in this affair, so this is not a time to celebrate. We're not celebrating at the moment because we are in mourning." MORE OF PRO-OUATTARA SOLDIERS IN STREETS CARRYING WEAPONS FILMED FROM MOVING CAR: PEOPLE CHEERING IN THE ADJAME NEIGHBOURHOOD
- Embargoed: 26th April 2011 13:00
- Location: Cote d'Ivoire
- Country: Ivory Coast
- Topics: War / Fighting,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4N16YI722Q447BL98IQNGU7SQ
- Story Text: A group of armed pro-Ouattara youths unfurled a giant Ivorian flag before an ecstatic crowd in front of the police station in the neighbourhood of Adjame on Monday (April 11), celebrating the arrest of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo.
Shouts of joy erupted in other parts of Abidjan too as news of Gbagbo's arrest spread through Ivory Coast's main city, where many had been trapped in their homes during 10 days of heavy fighting.
But some warned the country's deep crisis was not over and that armed supporters of the former president were still at large.
Residents drove their cars around, hooting in jubilation. In Koumassi, a district in the south of Abidjan, Mariam Cisse said residents were on the streets, chanting: "Gbagbo is gone. Gbagbo is gone."
In the neighbourhood of Adjame, which has been scarred by violence in recent months, people chanted "We are free, we are free!"
Gbagbo had refused to step down after losing U.N.-certified elections last November to Ouattara, plunging the world's top cocoa-producing country into a violent confrontation that has left thousands dead and more than a million displaced.
Gbagbo, who says the election was fraudulent, was arrested on Monday (April 11) after French armoured vehicles closed in on the compound where he had been holed up in a bunker.
A military pickup truck carrying a dozen pro-Ouattara troops raced through, saluting and celebrating with their fists held high in the air.
"It's truly an immense joy, truly immense, because it's now 10 years we've been in this crisis, and haven't moved forward, with no development, but thank God and thanks to Alassane, we can truly express our joy today. It's a new era, we can really go forward now, we feel it's going to be all right," said a man from Adjame, who gave his name as Mohamed.
Ouattara's government prime minister Guillaume Soro appealed to Gbagbo's remaining fighters to join the new armed forces and told the pro-Ouattara TV channel: "the nightmare has ended."
Some however were cautious, warning that the five-month conflict was far from over.
"Our work is not finished yet, all of these Gbagbo militia and mercenaries with weapons, what are we going to do with them. We've lost too many loved ones in this affair, so this is not a time to celebrate. We're not celebrating at the moment because we are in mourning," a neighbourhood leader known as Captain Wanto said in Adjame as people celebrated in the central market nearby.
Unsure of how armed pro-Gbagbo militia who still hold sway in parts of Abidjan might react to news of his arrest, some people preferred to watch the celebrations from their windows.
Gunshots rang out in parts of the city, residents said, and in the pro-Gbagbo neighbourhood of Yopougon Reuters correspondents witnessed clashes between Ouattara's forces and troops loyal to Gbagbo around a bridge.
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