Update at 9:13 a.m. ET: The U.N. special representative in the Ivory Coast tells Al-Jazeera TV that "the war is over" and that strongman Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered. "He is in a basement and is ready to surrender," says Y. P. Choi, who is the special representative of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He says Gbagbo's top generals have all defected and his fighters have "simply melted away." Choi says U.N. officials are now trying to find out Gbagbo's terms of surrender, but that the fighting has ceased, except perhaps for some isolated units who have not gotten the word.
From Agence France-Presse:
PARIS — Ivory Coast's embattled strongman Laurent Gbagbo is apparently "negotiating his surrender," Ally Coulibaly, the ambassador to France appointed by his rival Alassane Ouattara, said Tuesday.
"I believe Laurent Gbagbo is alive. I have learned that he is negotiating his surrender," the diplomat said on French radio RFI.
"Abidjan has become a rumour mill and I do not want to add to the disinformation. What I have learned is that since yesterday he (Gbagbo) has been seeking to negotiate. It is not too late," said the diplomat, a close advisor to Ouattara, the internationally recognised president of Ivory Coast.
Coulibaly said he did not know through what channels Gbagbo was negotiating or whether a mediator was involved.