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Ivory Coast's former Minister of Defence among refugees who've returned home after more than 5 years.

Ivory Coast's former Minister of Defence among refugees who've returned home after more than 5 years.

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s former defence minister Bertin Cadet, and three other pro-Gbagbo refugees on Thursday night arrived in Abidjan from Ghana.

This follows hot on the heals of the arrival of the first group of refugees who fled during the 2010/2011 post-electoral violence, during which former President LaurAnt Gbagbo refused to recognize Alassane Outtara’s victory.

“I think to the solve problem, one must be involved in the political game. You have to work and also, you must go to those who exercise state power. And t hat is the main reason why I came back,” said Kadet Bertin, former defense minister under Gbagbo

President Outtarra extended an invitation to the more than 300 000 Ivorians who fled during the conflict to come back home as part of a reconciliation process.

This is amid fears that those who decide decide to do so would be persecuted upon their return. Minister of Social Cohesion, Mariatou Kone refuted the speculation saying the government is only seeking reconciliation.

“There’s really no fear. I think we have no better warranty than ourselves, I am in charge of reconciliation, social cohesion and we will not call our brothers and sisters to come and deliver them to such … no it will not make sense,” she said

Some 38 000 people spread across Liberia, Guinea and Ghana are expected to yet return home.

AFP

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