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Laurent Gbagbo is due to return to Côte d’Ivoire on June 17, the former president’s party announced on Monday. According to Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya, researcher at IPSE, invited on France 24, this return cannot be discreet, as the politician is eagerly awaited by his supporters since his acquittal of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court last March.
He is expected to be back in Côte d’Ivoire on June 17. After ten years of absence, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo will return to his country after his acquittal by international justice of crimes against humanity and the green light from Abidjan. An event eagerly awaited by its supporters.
“It’s the big comeback”, explains on France 24 Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya, researcher at the Foresight and Security Institute in Europe (IPSE). “Laurent Gbagbo is a very popular man in Ivory Coast, but more generally in Africa, and even in the whole world. The impact of his return is proof of this.”
“He is seen as a resistance fighter, as a person who fights for his ideas and his convictions,” he continues. And to sum up: “He is perhaps the most popular politician in Ivory Coast. “
A return to political life?
The question now arises of Laurent Gbagbo’s return to political life. “He reshuffles the cards of the political class,” said the specialist. “A discreet return, as requested by the authorities, is in any case impossible. We can clearly see the noise of his ten years of absence.”
For Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya, this return is in any case “a strong sign from‘Alassane Ouattara“, the current head of state.” A reciprocal movement is underway for a normalization of political relations. “
“Everything suggests that he will be pardoned”
If Laurent Gbagbo was acquitted by the International Criminal Court last March, he nevertheless remains under a sentence in Côte d’Ivoire to 20 years in prison for the “robbery” of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) during the post-violence. elections of 2010-2011, but the abandonment of these proceedings seems almost certain after the green light from President Ouattara on the return of his predecessor.
“Everything suggests that he will be pardoned”, judge Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya.