WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The capture of the Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo sends a signal to dictators everywhere that they cannot ignore the results of free and fair elections and there will be consequences if they cling to power, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday.
Gbagbo was arrested after French armored vehicles closed in on the compound where the self-proclaimed president had been holed up in a bunker in Abidjan.
Gbagbo refused to step down when Alassane Ouattara won last November's presidential election, according to results certified by the United Nations, reigniting a civil war that has claimed more than a thousand lives and uprooted a million people.
"This transition sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the world: they may not disregard the voice of their own people in free and fair elections and there will be consequences for those who cling to power," Clinton said at the start of a joint news conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb.
(Editing by Eric Beech)