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Captured Gbagbo Calls For End To Ivory Coast Fighting

Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo

Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo

Laurent Gbagbo has called for an end to fighting in Ivory Coast hours after the strongman was captured at his residence in Abidjan following four months of political deadlock in the former French colony in West Africa.

It was immediately unclear who captured Gbagbo, who has been refusing to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognized winner of the November presidential election.

A Gbagbo spokesman, Toussaint Alain, told the Reuters news agency that Gbagbo had been seized by French soldiers who handed him over to the opposition.

The French Embassy in Ivory Coast, however, said he had been arrested by opposition forces.

Gbagbo has been refusing to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of presidential elections in November 2010.

In New York, Ivory Coast's ambassador to the United Nations, Youssoufou Bamba, told journalists at UN headquarters that Gbagbo would now be put on trial.

Bamba said Gbagbo was "well and alive and will be brought to justice."

UN peacekeepers have accused Gbabgo forces of endangering the civilian population, and had asked French troops in Ivory Coast to take action against the defiant leader's heavy weapons.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Gbagbo's capture would finally bring peace and prosperity to the West African country.

compiled from agency reports