Ivory Coast

France: Gbagbo Near Surrender

After the U.N. and France fired on weapons sites of Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo on Monday, France said on Tuesday that Gbagbo and other generals are in talks about his departure while heavy fighting continues between Gbagbo loyalists and opponents who want him to step down. Gbagbo is currently holed up in a bunker at his home in Abidjan. Alcide Djedje, Gbagbo's foreign minister, reportedly told France 24 TV he had negotiated with U.N. officials for a ceasefire after Gbagbo's military force was wiped out. He refused to say whether Gbagbo is discussing a surrender. Despite international pressure to step down after he lost the presidential election in November, Gbagbo has refused to acquiesce and the standoff has resulted in at least 1,500 deaths. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said his country would only intervene as long as the U.N. asked them to do so.