Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo will arrive in Abidjan on Thursday, June 17 by a commercial flight from Brussels, his spokesperson announced on Wednesday, June 9. “President Laurent Gbagbo is expected on June 17 in Abidjan, he arrives by a flight from the company [Brussels Airlines] at 14 hours “Justin Katinan Koné said at a press conference.
Absent for ten years from Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Gbagbo “Comes for peace and his wish is that everything happens in peace” on the occasion of his return, Katinan said. According to him, the former president arrives carrier “A very important message of reconciliation awaited by the people and the objective of which is to re-weld broken links as much as possible”. ” Preparations are well underway “ and “The government has not expressed any restrictions to us, we are working according to the format we have set for ourselves, namely a popular reception”, he stressed.
In the evening, Mr. Gbagbo denounced “The night-time uprooting of posters ordered by [ses] sympathizers […] and which aimed to inform the populations of his return ”, according to a statement released by his lawyer, Habiba Touré. “President Laurent Gbagbo calls on the Ivorians for appeasement and asks them to go beyond a simple problem of posters. He believes that the work of reconciliation is much more important than that. […] He recalls that he intends to return to his country on June 17, 2021, and that in peace and serenity “, writes Me Touré.
The government wants to avoid any overflow
President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to authorize Laurent Gbagbo to return to his country by granting him the advantages due to his rank as former head of state was taken after his acquittal on March 31 by the International Criminal Court ( ICC), who tried him for crimes against humanity. Negotiations on the conditions of this return after ten years of absence have taken place in recent weeks between the party of Mr. Gbagbo and the government, which wants to avoid any overflow at the time of the reception that its supporters wish to reserve.
Mr. Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011 after several months of a post-electoral crisis caused by his refusal to recognize Alassane Ouattara’s victory in the 2010 presidential election. The crisis resulting from this refusal left some 3,000 dead. It was for this violence that Mr. Gbagbo was first detained in northern Côte d’Ivoire, then transferred at the end of 2011 to The Hague, where the ICC finally acquitted him on appeal on March 31.