Côte d’Ivoire: Six FPI leaders return from exile before Laurent Gbagbo’s return

While the return of former President Laurent Gbagbo is expected in Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorian People’s Front announced in a statement issued Wednesday, April 29, the arrival Friday at Abidjan airport of six senior party officials, who have been in exile for ten years.
This is “an important step towards reconciliation and peace in Côte d’Ivoire,” said a statement from the pro-Gbagbo FPI. Six activists and executives of this branch of the Ivorian Popular Front are expected to arrive at Abidjan airport on Friday, April 30, after 10 years in exile. Justin Katinan Koné, former budget minister of Laurent Gbagbo, but also Adia Pikass, Tahi Etienne, Jeannette Koudou, Véhi Tokpa, Innocent Abouo. “They were not senior FPI officials, but they played a key role in the 2010 election,” said political scientist Sylvain N’Guessan.
This return was made possible by negotiations between the Ivorian and Ghanaian governments, led by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Indeed, these exiles were living in Ghana and some were being prosecuted by the Ivorian justice system. Justin Katinan Kone, for example, had been the target of an international arrest warrant for several years. The Minister of National Reconciliation, Kouadio Konan Bertin, did not specify whether the warrant had been lifted, but said he was “delighted that these Ivorian executives can return to their homeland. “There has been a political compromise,” said Sylvain N’Guessan.
The FPI, for its part, says that these six executives will “participate in the organization of the return” of former President Laurent Gbagbo, the date of which has not yet been officially set. In early April, the Ivorian president gave the green light for the return of Laurent Gbagbo, who was finally acquitted at the end of his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network