Ivory Coast President Urges Calm After Gbagbo Is Arrested

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara called for calm Monday after forces stormed the president's residence and arrested Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to accept the results of a presidential election last year plunged the West African nation into civil war.

"Finally, we have reached the dawn of a new era of hope," Ouattara said in a televised address. "We had hoped this transfer had been different, but we have to focus on today."

He urged his countrymen to lay down their weapons and said he has asked the justice minister to start legal proceedings against Gbagbo, his wife and his colleagues. Gbagbo is being held at the Golf Hotel, the headquarters of both Ouattara and the United Nations.

Fighting appeared to quickly end after Gbagbo's arrest, said Alain Le Roy, under-secretary-general of the United Nations' Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

"To my knowledge, most of the fighting has stopped," he said, adding that "there are pockets of resistance here and there."

Gbagbo asked for and is receiving U.N. protection, according to Le Roy, who said forces are also ensuring the security of the former leader's wife.

"I understand from President Ouattara that he wants President Gbagbo to go on trial in Ivory Coast," said the U.N. official.

The former president "is well and alive and will be brought to justice," said the country's ambassador to the United Nations, Youssoufou Bamba. He and the French Embassy said forces loyal to Ouattara made the arrest.