Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced on Saturday that he had pardoned his predecessor and former rival Laurent Gbagbo, who was handed a 20-year prison sentence in his country following the 2010-2011 post-election crisis.
“In a bid to strengthen social cohesion, I have signed a decree granting a presidential pardon to Mr Laurent Gbagbo,” Ouattara said in a speech on the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence.
The head of state also announced that he had requested “that his accounts be unfrozen and his arrears of life annuities paid”.
President Ouattara announced that he had also signed a decree granting “conditional release” to two former figures of the military and security apparatus of the Laurent Gbagbo regime, convicted for their role in the 2010-2011 crisis.
These are Rear Admiral Vagba Faussignaux, former head of the Navy, and Major Jean-Noël Abéhi, former head of the armored squadron of the gendarmerie at the Agban camp in Abidjan.
Laurent Gbagbo, 77, definitively acquitted in March 2021 of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, where he had been transferred at the end of 2011, returned to his country in June 2021.
Although he has never been bothered since his return, he was still facing a 20-year prison sentence in Côte d’Ivoire for the “robbery” of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) during the 2010-2011 crisis.