Joyous celebrations erupted in the main city of Abidjan and western leaders expressed relief at news that Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo was arrested Monday. But analysts warn considerable challenges remain to restore stability and quell political and unrest in the West African nation.
Opposition forces took Gbagbo and his wife into custody after French troops stormed his presidential compound. It was the culmination of a bloody months-long stand-off that left several hundreabidjand people dead and as many as a million displaced in the wake of disputed November presidential elections.
The United Nations and world powers have said Gbagbo clearly lost the UN-monitored Nov. 28 election to his rival Alassane Ouattara, a former Ivory Coast prime minister and International Monetary Fund economist. But Gbagbo has refused to go, stoking political and ethnic divisions in the country, and portraying Ouattara as a stooge of the west, in particular of the country's former French colonial rulers.
Human rights groups have also registered alarm about the conduct of forces loyal to Ouattara in the days leading to Gbagbo's arrest.Read More »from Relief at Gbagbo capture, but challenges to quell Ivory Coast unrest