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Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced on Saturday that he had pardoned his predecessor and former rival Laurent Gbagbo, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in his country following the post-election crisis of 2010-2011.
An announcement that was expected after several reconciliation efforts between the Ivorian head of state and his predecessors. Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced on Saturday August 6 that he had granted presidential pardon to his former rival and predecessor Laurent Gbagbo, “in order to strengthen social cohesion”. The latter was under a 20-year prison sentence in his country following the post-election crisis of 2010-2011.
“In order to strengthen social cohesion, I signed a decree granting presidential pardon to Mr. Laurent Gbagbo,” said Alassane Ouattara in a speech on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the independence of Côte d’Azur. Ivory. The Head of State also announced that he had requested “that his accounts be unfrozen and his arrears of his life annuities be paid”.
He also announced that he had signed a decree granting “conditional release” to two former figures of the military and security apparatus of Laurent Gbagbo’s regime, convicted for their role in the 2010-2011 crisis. They are Rear Admiral Vagba Faussignaux, ex-boss of the Navy, and Commander Jean-Noël Abéhi, former head of the armored squadron of the gendarmerie at Agban camp in Abidjan.
In order to strengthen social cohesion, I signed a decree granting presidential pardon to Mr. Laurent Gbagbo. I also requested that his accounts be unfrozen and his life annuity arrears be paid. pic.twitter.com/HbV80zwsU0
— Alassane Ouattara (@AOuattara_PRCI) August 6, 2022
The two former rivals had already met for the first time on July 14, 2022, during a “reunion meeting” with Henri Konan Bédié, also former president.
During the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011, the presidential duel between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, then supported by Mr. Bédié, led to a post-electoral crisis after the former refused to recognize the victory of the second. The violence left 3,000 dead and led to Mr. Gbagbo’s arrest in April 2011.
Acquitted by international justice, he returned in June 2021 to Abidjan and launched a new opposition party. Without ever having been worried since his return, he nevertheless remained under the influence in Côte d’Ivoire of a 20-year prison sentence for “the robbery” of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) during the crisis of 2010-2011.
In 2020, electoral violence during the presidential election left 85 dead and 500 injured. The ballot, boycotted in particular by Mr. Bédié, saw the re-election of President Ouattara for a controversial third term, deemed unconstitutional by the opposition.