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I. Coast: Former leader celebrates ICC acquittal, vows to 'repair the injustice'

Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, president of the Parti des Peuples Africains Cote d'Ivoire (PPA-CI) gestures during a party meeting in Yopougon, on Mar. 31, 2023.   -  
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Ivory Coast

Celebrating an anniversary with a bang. In the stronghold of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbago, hundreds rallied on Friday (Mar. 31).

The politician and supporters of his African People’s Party (PPA-CI) celebrated the 2nd anniversary of his final acquittal by the ICC following the 2010 post-electoral violence.

Party officials also attended the vent in Yopougon, Abidjan

"March 31, is the date that put an end to injustice. March 31 is the date when iniquity has been erased. March 31, is the date when the innocence of the innocent has been recognized," Gbagbo said.

If Gbago and his right hand were aqcuitted in the Hague and eventually regained their country, Gbabo suggested to find the culprits.

"If Ivory Coast wants to be a nation of peace, justice and truth, I advise our country to continue searching for the guilty."

According to the UN at least 3,000 people were killed, around 1 million were displaced, and over 300,000 refugees fled.

In the wake of the violence that erupted after the elections of 2010, Gbagbo's rival and current President of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara, took the post.

During the so called, 'revival celebration' the former president who is now 77 held his first major meeting since his return and the creation of the PPA-CI. 

The event should end on Saturday.

Many supporters who came from all parts of Ivory Coast to attend the event, eyed the 2025 presidential election.

Political alliances

The meeting also provided an opportunity to take stock of the possible political alliances that Laurent Gbagbo could form in the run-up to 2025.

Not surprisingly, the representatives of the ruling party were loudly booed by the crowd, while those of the Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI), the main opposition party, were warmly applauded.

Another name booed at length by the militants was that of Charles Blé Goudé, former right-hand man of Laurent Gbagbo, imprisoned in The Hague and acquitted like him two years ago. Back in Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Blé Goudé is currently going it alone in a new party, the Pan-African Congress for Justice and Equality of Peoples (Cojep), a decision that does not go down well in the Gbagbo camp.

The former president also launched a few indirect jabs at his ex-wife Simone Gbagbo, without mentioning her name once. She launched a new political party (MGC) last year.

Laurent Gbagbo payed several tributes to the support provided during his incarceration by Nady Bamba, his current partner who was present at his side on Friday.

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