The party in power in Côte d'Ivoire and an opposition party signed Tuesday in Abidjan "a partnership agreement" for "national reconciliation, social cohesion and democracy", in a country with a recent history marked by political violence.
“We all note that the wounds have not all healed, because we have not been able to go through with a sincere reconciliation process,” said Pascal Affi N'Guessan , a former close friend of ex-president Laurent. Gbagbo and leader of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI, opposition).
"Of course, Côte d'Ivoire is not burning, but the embers are not extinguished. And as long as there is an ember, everyone knows it, the fire can start again if some blow skilfully", added Mr. Affi N ' Guessan to justify the signing of this agreement with the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) of President Alassane Ouattara
According to him, "reconciliation requires forgiveness to overcome the tears and dramas of the past", adding: "Whatever happened in the past, the demand for a common future must prevail over the desire for revenge. ".
Spokesperson for an opposition party which did not recognize the re-election of President Alassane Ouattara for a controversial third term in the presidential election of October 31, 2020, Pascal Affi N'Guessan had participated in the proclamation of a " Council National Transition", supposed to replace the regime.
This led to him being arrested in November 2020, detained for almost two months and prosecuted with other opponents for "conspiracy against state authority" , "insurrectionary movement", "assassination" and "acts of terrorism".
Ten years after the violence linked to Mr. Ouattara's first victory in a presidential contested by Laurent Gbagbo in 2010-2011 (around 3,000 dead), violence also marked the 2020 presidential election ( 85 dead and half a thousand injured from August to November).
Ibrahim Cissé Bacongo, executive secretary of the RHDP, praised Pascal Affi N'Guessan's "high spirit" and Alassane Ouattara's "sense of state". "They were able to wipe out a lot of things that opposed them, to talk to each other, to meet, to exchange", which allowed their two parties to do the same to reach this agreement, a- he added.
With the approach of the regional and municipal elections on September 2, Mr Affi N'Guessan affirmed that "the partnership" signed on Tuesday was not "an electoral agreement" . “But this partnership does not prohibit meeting, where it seems necessary to us” at that time, he said.