There’s excitement and joy in parts of Ivory Coast, at least, by supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo and his political ally Charles Blé Goudé. Both are eagerly being expected back in the country after their freedom by the Hague and acquittal for charges of crimes against humanity committed during the post election violence, in which some 3,000 people were killed between 2010-2011.
Gbagbo, the first head of state to stand trial in The Hague, and his deputy Charles Ble Goude, were both cleared of crimes against humanity in January 2019 and released the following month but there were still restrictions on their movement or return to Ivory Coast. But now, Mr Gbagbo can leave Belgium and return to Ivory Coast under certain conditions, nearly 9 years after his forced departure. And for Charles Ble Goude? 7 years after Ghana gave him up for arrest by the ICC.
This is an important election year for Ivory Coast and there are concerns that Gbagbo’s return to the country could shake up the country’s October election. For more on this we are being joined by Frank Anderson Kouassi, deputy secretary general in charge of communication of the Ivorian Patriotic Front FPI, the party founded by Gbagbo