Ivory Coast Politics

Ivory Coast ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo granted amnesty

The jailed former first lady of Ivory Coast, Simone Gbagbo, has been granted an amnesty by President Alassane Ouattara.

She’s among about 800 people being pardoned.

Mr Ouattara said most had been prosecuted or sentenced for offences connected to the violence that killed thousands of people after the elections that brought him to power in 2010

Mrs Gbagbo was jailed for such offences, and had also been facing a new trial for crimes against humanity.

Her husband, ex-President Laurent Gbagbo, is already being tried at the International Criminal Court.

The jailed former first lady of Ivory Coast, Simone Gbagbo, has been granted an amnesty by President Alassane Ouattara. She’s among about 800 people being pardoned.

Last week¬†Ivory Coast’s Supreme Court overturned an earlier¬†acquittal¬†granted to Gbagbo for crimes against humanity.

The wife of former president¬†Laurent Gbagbo, in power from 2000 to 2010, will “soon be freed,”¬†Ouattara¬†said during a televised address to the West African nation on the eve of the country’s independence day.

Mr Ouattara said most had been prosecuted or sentenced for offences connected to the violence that killed thousands of people after the elections that brought him to power in 2010

Mrs Gbagbo was jailed for such offences, and had also been facing a new trial for crimes against humanity.

Her husband, ex-President Laurent Gbagbo, is already being tried at the International Criminal Court.

Among the others granted amnesties by Ouattara on Monday were former defence minister Lida Kouassi — a key ally of Laurent Gbagbo — who was sentenced this year to 15 years for conspiracy, and former construction minister Assoa Adou, jailed in 2017 for four years.

“On Monday I signed an amnesty order that will benefit about 800 citizens prosecuted or sentenced for offences related to the post-election crisis of 2010 or state security offences committed after May 21, 2011, (the date of Ouattara’s inauguration),” the president said in his address.

Around 500 of those named have already been released provisionally from detention, he added. They will have their criminal records erased.

The other 300 will be released “soon”, he added, without giving any dates.

The question of national reconciliation in Ivory Coast, or the lack of it, has been seen by observers as a black mark against Ouattara.

About 3,000 people died in the turmoil that swept Abidjan — once one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities — in the aftermath of the November 2010 presidential polls when Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to bitter rival Ouattara.

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