2011-04-11 Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo arrested


France24 is reporting that former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to acknowledge defeat in the election last November, has been captured and taken to the Abidjan headquarters of rival president Alassane Ouattara, according to “diplomatic sources”. Early reports said he was arrested by French troops, there as part of a UN mission approved in March after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Gbagbo of using heavy weapons against civilians.

It is now being reported that Ouattara troops arrested him. Youssoufou Bamba, the U.N. envoy of president-elect Ouattara stated that Gbagbo has been arrested, is alive, and will be brought to justice, according to the Washington Post. They quote Bamba as saying, “That’s the Republican Forces of Cote d’Ivoire who have conducted the operation. Gbagbo is arrested. He is under our custody. . . . Right now, he is being brought to a safe location for the next course of action.” Bamba is also quoted as saying that he was confident that as “the news will spread” of Gbagbo’s arrest, his forces “will stop fighting and they will lay down their weapons.” He added: “Those fighting are fighting for nothing, because this man is over, this era is over. We will address the serious problem of the humanitarian situation and the security situation . . . and restore public order.”

Reuters reports that Farhan Haq, spokesman for the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast said they have “confirmed that former president Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered to the forces of Alassane Ouattara and is currently in their custody.” and that the U.N. mission was “providing protection and security in accordance with its mandate.”

Gbagbo supporters deny that Ouattara forces captured Gbagbo, saying UN and French forces who have been attacking the presidential residence by helicopter were the ones that carried out the operation and the capture, and Ouattara forces, if present, were negligible. They promise deep future resentment at the foreign “colonial” interference in this case.


2010-12-29 Pirate Parties condemn violence against employees of WikiLeaks

The following Pirate Parties of Europe have issued a joint statement condemning all attacks on the infrastructure of Wikileaks and employees of Wikileaks.

– Pirate Party of Germany
– Pirate Party of France
– Pirate Party of Italy
– Pirate Party of Austria
– Pirate Party of Russia
– Pirate Party of Switzerland
– Pirate Party of Luxembourg
– Pirate Party of the United Kingdom


2010-12-23 Julian Assange is Person of the Year for Le Monde and Crikey

Agence France-Presse announced that Le Monde will name Assange “Man of the Year” in a weekly supplement on Friday.

Visitors to the newspaper’s website voted in favor of Assange with 56 percent backing him for the honor, compared to 22 percent for jailed Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and 6.9 percent for American Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg.


Crikey readers have also chosen Assange for Person of the Year with a 56.4% vote, 38.6% more than the second-placed Bob Brown, whose Greens party also had a big 2010.