Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo remains at rival Alassane Ouattara’s Abidjan headquarters at the Golf Hotel, contrary to earlier UN reports stating he had been moved out of the city.
REUTERS - Toppled Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo remains at the Abidjan hotel where he was taken by opposition forces, the United Nations said on Tuesday, correcting its earlier statement that he had been moved out of the city.
Gbagbo was taken on Monday to the headquarters of presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara at Abidjan's Golf Hotel immediately after his detention at his residence.
U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at a regular news briefing that U.N. peacekeepers in Ivory Coast had subsequently "helped to move him (Gbagbo) to another place in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) where he will be secure."
But Haq said later that was incorrect. "Contrary to earlier information, Laurent Gbagbo remains at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan," he said.
U.N. officials said there had been plans to move Gbagbo to another location in Ivory Coast, but the plan was called off for reasons they could not specify. One official said it was possible he could still be moved "sometime down the line."
Gbagbo still has many supporters, some of them armed, in Abidjan -- Ivory Coast's main city. A U.N. official suggested on Monday he could be transferred to the north of the country, where Ouattara's support is based.
Gbagbo, president for the past 10 years, clung to power after a presidential election last November that the United Nations said was won by Ouattara. Forces supporting Ouattara have steadily taken over Ivory Coast in recent weeks.
Ouattara has said Gbagbo will be prosecuted in Ivory Coast.