Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced Saturday in a message to the nation that he has signed a decree granting a presidential pardon to his predecessor in office, Laurent Gbagbo.
“To strengthen social cohesion, I signed a decree granting a presidential pardon to Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, former president of the Republic,” Ouattara said.
The Ivorian president explained that the country’s progress has been possible “thanks to the climate of peace that we have been able to preserve, together, in recent years.”
Ouattara also stated that he has requested “that (Gbagbo’s) accounts be unfrozen and his overdue annuities be paid.”
These measures had been taken during the former president’s detention in The Hague, when the International Criminal Court (ICC) was investigating him on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the civil war that broke out in 2010 after he refused to recognize his defeat at the polls against the current president.
However, in 2021 Gbagbo returned to the country in June following his acquittal by the ICC. Since then there have been meetings with political rivals to forge ties and bring about a national dialogue in the country.
Thus, last month Ouattara held a “reunion” with Gbagbo and fellow former president Henri Konan Bédié to “relax the political climate.”