The new president of the Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara (pictured) has hailed “the dawn of a new era of hope” now that the country’s former leader Laurent Gbagbo has been captured.

Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing an election to Outtara in November last year sparking months of bloodshed between rival forces which left thousands dead and more than a million people displaced.

He was finally arrested in an assault on the presidential residence in the capital Abidjan where he’d been hiding out for a week.

“After more than four months of post-electoral crisis, marked by so many human lives lost, we are finally at the dawn of a new era of hope,” Ouattara said on radio and TV.

He called for an Ivorian investigation into the former president and his regime but ruled out any knee-jerk style vengeance.

“Every measure has been taken to assure the physical integrity of Mr Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and all those arrested,” he said. “They will receive dignified treatment and their rights will be respected.”

He also called for calm and urged militias to lay down their arms.

“Our country has turned a painful page in its history,” he said.

Ouattara said he intended to establish a truth and reconciliation commission; both pro-Gbagbo gangs and pro-Ouattara forces have been implicated in committing atrocities against civilians in recent months.

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