/**/ Over 50 Laurent Gbagbo allies return from exile Over 50 Laurent Gbagbo allies return from exile

Over 50 Laurent Gbagbo allies return from exile

More than 50 allies of former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo have returned home after more than eight years in exile in neighbouring Ghana.

The move comes following a recent amnesty law in Cote d’Ivoire, as well as the recent acquittal of Gbagbo at the International criminal Court (ICC), where conditions for his release will be decided on Friday.

Former first lady Simon Gbagbo joined large crowds in Abidjan to welcome six former ministers of Gbagbo’s reign and dozens of his allies who had fled to Ghana after the disputed 2010 presidential election.

Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in that vote, sparking violent clashes between forces loyal to him and those loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara.
More than 3,000 people were killed in the post-election violence, with tens of thousands forced to flee their homes.

The return of Gbagbo’s allies to Cote d’Ivoire was coordinated by the UN’s refugee agency, which is attempting to bring back more than 20,000 Ivorians in exile.
It is part of reconciliation efforts led by current president.

President Ouattara last year pardoned 800 people – a step that angered some human rights activists who say they could entrench widespread impunity.

Cote d’Ivoire is scheduled to hold its elections next year, and the release of Gbagbo – if confirmed – may have a huge impact in that vote.

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