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Ivory Coast PM says captured strongman is 'well'

 President Alassane Ouattara, center, consults with Interior Minister Ahmed Bakayoko during a ceremony in which former leaders of Laurent Gbagbo's sec...
 President Alassane Ouattara, center, poses for a group photo with commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory...
 President Alassane Ouattara addresses the former leaders of Laurent Gbagbo's security forces, at a ceremony where they pledged allegiance to Ouattara...
 President Alassane Ouattara addresses commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April 12, 2...
 Republican forces fighters drive through the Riviera II neighborhood, a former stronghold of Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April ...
 President Alassane Ouattara meets with commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April 12, ...
 Soldiers allied with Alassane Ouattara check the identity documents of travelers leaving Abidjan, at a road block at an unfinished toll station 20km ...
 Some of the 30,000 people who have crowded a Catholic mission in Duekoue, Ivory Coast on April 11, 2011.  Reprisal killings erupted as Ouattara's fig...

APTOPIX Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara, center, consults with Interior Minister Ahmed Bakayoko during a ceremony in which former leaders of Laurent Gbagbo's sec...

Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara, center, poses for a group photo with commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory...

Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara addresses the former leaders of Laurent Gbagbo's security forces, at a ceremony where they pledged allegiance to Ouattara...

Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara addresses commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April 12, 2...

Ivory Coast

Republican forces fighters drive through the Riviera II neighborhood, a former stronghold of Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April ...

Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara meets with commanding officers from the republican forces, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, April 12, ...

Ivory Coast

Soldiers allied with Alassane Ouattara check the identity documents of travelers leaving Abidjan, at a road block at an unfinished toll station 20km ...

Ivory Coast Reprisal Killings

Some of the 30,000 people who have crowded a Catholic mission in Duekoue, Ivory Coast on April 11, 2011. Reprisal killings erupted as Ouattara's fig...

Ivory Coast's prime minister said the country's captured strongman is "well" but would not say where he is, in an interview published Wednesday in a French newspaper.
Guillaume Soro told French daily Le Parisien that President Alassane Ouattara is working to restore order after strongman Laurent Gbagbo was arrested Monday and taken to Ouattara's Abidjan headquarters at the Golf Hotel. The U.N. said Tuesday he had been moved but would not say where to.
"That, for now, is a secret, because he is a sensitive prisoner," Soro was quoted as saying. "But what I can say is that Mr. Gbagbo is doing well and will be the object of judicial prosecution."
He wouldn't say whether Gbagbo would face prosecution from an Ivorian court or from the International Criminal Court, which said it wanted to investigate alleged atrocities by Gbagbo's forces.
Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing a November election, leading to a four-month standoff that plunged the West African nation into chaos and killed untold numbers of people. More than 1 million civilians fled their homes amid the fighting, which also disrupted the economy of the cocoa-producing powerhouse.
"This will be a lesson for all the other dictators who want to hold and retain power beyond reasonable limits," Soro said.
Soro, who formerly served as Gbagbo's prime minister but resigned in protest after the November election and joined Ouattara's camp, said he would accept if Ouattara renames him prime minister.
New footage obtained by The Associated Press Wednesday shows pro-Ouattara fighters storming Gbagbo's residence.
The footage, shot by a pro-Ouattara fighter Monday during Gbagbo's arrest, showed forces backing Ouattara walking through the front gate carrying firearms. Many are dressed in camouflage and wearing helmets, and some are crouched in shooting position. After orders from a commander, fighters entered the residence, shot at the lock on an orange door and forced themselves inside.
The footage shows fighters putting a camouflage flak jacket on Gbagbo. He and his wife are then escorted to a car with a tank sitting nearby. Gbagbo was then handed off to U.N. peacekeepers and taken to Ouattara's Abidjan headquarters.
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet also said Wednesday that France will reduce its military force in the Ivory Coast from 1,700 to 980 troops as soon as possible. Longuet said French forces took a secondary role to Ouattara's forces and the U.N. in capturing Gbagbo.
The French will not make any decision on an eventual pullout until at least June, he said, because the future of the French force will depend on the U.N. decision in June on whether to renew the mandate for its force.
"Patrols of Ivorian and French gendarmes will circulate in Abidjan to show that there is a state of law that is being put in place," Longuet told a parliamentary hearing on Ivory Coast on Wednesday.
He said the head of the Ivorian gendarme service, the director of police, the chief of staff of the armed forces and the chief of staff of the army have all offered their services to Ouattara.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama called Ouattara to congratulate him on assuming the presidency. The White House said the two leaders discussed the importance of re-establishing trade and assistance in order to jump-start Ivory Coast's private sector. They also spoke about the importance of ensuring that attacks and killings committed during the postelection standoff are investigated, regardless of who the perpetrators supported.
Obama said the U.S. would be a strong partner as Ouattara forms an inclusive government and promotes reconciliation.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the European Union announced that it was preparing a comprehensive recovery package of (EURO)180 million ($260 million) for Ivory Coast, in consultation with the government there.
"We will stand by Ivory Coast and its people by immediately starting to work with the government of President Ouattara to support him in getting the country on the right track towards reconciliation, democracy, economic development and sustainable development," said Andris Piebalgs, the EU's commissioner for development.
Piebalgs said the money would help with basic needs such as health care, water and sanitation, as well as supporting agriculture. He said the money would also clear the country's debt to the European Investment Bank.
Piebags said he would visit Ivory coast to discuss urgent development priorities "once conditions allow it."
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Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Don Melvin in Brussels contributed to this report.