Cote d’Ivoire: Gbagbo’s release will facilitate reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire – Son

Laurent Gbagbo
Laurent Gbagbo

Mr. Gbagbo is held at the International Criminal Court, for his role in the 2011 post-election violence that gripped Cote d’Ivoire.

Michel Gbagbo, son of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, has called for his father’s release, saying it would facilitate reconciliation in the country.

An Abidjan-based newspaper, Le Temps, on Sunday in Abidjan quoted Michel as making the call at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the arrest of Charles Goude.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Goude, one of Gbagbo’s strong allies, fled the country at the peak of the political violence in Cote d’Ivoire after being declared wanted.

Goude was arrested in Ghana on Jan. 17, 2013 and extradited to Abidjan where he has been in detention.

Only recently, the Ivorian Government said it needed more time to decide whether or not to extradite him to The Hague.

This was in response to an arrest warrant on Goude by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The newspaper quoted Michel as saying it would be in the interest of peace and reconciliation in the country if Gbagbo was granted freedom.

“Granting freedom to my father, the former president, will be in the interest of the nation, especially with the on-going reconciliation.

“I think it is not good to talk about peace and reconciliation while Gbagbo is in detention. He needs to be part of the process,’’ he was quoted as saying.

NAN recalls that the arrest of Gbagbo, his wife Simone and Michel on April 11, 2011 officially ended the post-election crisis reported to have caused the death of some 3,000 persons.

While Michel and 13 others were granted provisional freedom in August 2013, Gbagbo had remained in the custody of the ICC.

Simone was also detained in a prison cell in Odienne, northern Cote d’Ivoire.

Cote d’Ivoire, world’s largest cocoa beans producer, was hit by a post-election violence following a disputed election between then President Gbagbo and his challenger, now President Alassane Ouattara.

NAN reports that talks have been ongoing between the government and the former ruling party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).(NAN)


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