2:26 - Actually, "U.N. official says Ivory Coast's Gbagbo hasn't surrendered, has expressed willingness to do so, wants U.N. protection," Reuters now reports.
2:00 p.m. EST- Reuters flash reports that, according to a U.N. memo, Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered and asked for U.N. protection.
Three of President Laurent Gbagbo's generals are negotiating terms of surrender in exchange for safety guarantees, reports BBC News (other news reports say two generals, not three). The news arrives as Pro-Ouattara fighters, pictured, have surrounded the Abidjan compound and taken over the residence in which Gbagbo is sheltered with his family. Reuters has noted that the area surrounding the presidential palace has calmed after fierce heavy weapon fire the previous several days.
Negotiations between Gbagbo's generals and French representatives have been ongoing, with the latest news that that the generals are "on the brink of agreeing his [safe] departure" which appear to be based on his recognition of Alassane Ouattara as president. He previously had been refusing to step down.
A U.N. special representative in the Ivory Coast framed the negotiations to Al-Jazeera TV in optimistic terms: "the war is over." As of 12:00 pm EST, the New York Times, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal haven't put the negotiating process in quite such unequivocal terms.
"I can confirm that the information regarding Mr. Gbagbo negotiating a surrender is true," said Anne Oluto, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ouattara's government to the Wall Street Journal. "We are asking him to turn himself in and all combatants to refrain from physically harming him." BBC's correspondent said that the potential news hasn't inspired excitement so much as a "weary sense of relief" of a possible resolution.