In the name of national reconciliation: Debate to set free Gbagbo slowly but steady

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staff writer

At 72, President Laurent Gbagbo remains, despite his absence in the country, a major political actor whose voice still has a relevant echo among a significant part of the Ivorian population. The initiative of the “Great Forgiveness” initiated by Guillaume Soro, former spokesman of the Ivorian rebellion, to the Ivorian people can be an opportunity to revitalize the process of “dialogue, truth and reconciliation” put in place by President Alassane Ouattara at Through this commission of the same name.

through this commission, pro Gbagbo voices are coming up.

Among the population and in the Chancelleries in Cote d’Ivoire, several voices rise to plead in favor of a liberation of the former Ivorian head of state in the name of national reconciliation. What will the International Criminal Court, the sole holder of the power to release the former Ivorian president, do?

Health concerns

At 72, according to some indiscretions, the health of President Laurent Gbagbo would be “declining”, but “not alarming”. According to the same sources, “his health would be relatively good”, but with the weight of age, detention and the psychological factor of the latter, “his health could be better outside the International Criminal Court”.

In other words, his health would not be degraded during his detention in The Hague. This option of liberation would make it possible to avoid the worst and above all to avoid making of it a new martyr which would risk provoking a political and social crisis difficult to manage, in this process of national reconciliation in which many unspoken can still Questions and surprises “.

The ball is now in the camp of the International Criminal Court, which alone is in a position to appreciate this option with regard to the right and the burdens on the former Ivorian president, with a humanitarian look. but some argue that its little too late.

Being a model for younger generations

Politically, this option can also prove very interesting, even productive in the process of national reconciliation in which Côte d’Ivoire is engaged since 2012. At 72 years old, President Laurent Gbagbo, physically weakened, no longer represents the same threat For its opponents.

This political animal, very talented for strategic maneuvers and political tactics, can still play a great part in the development of our democracy under construction. It can also, by its charisma, aura and strong political intelligence, help to ease social tensions and give a new lease of life to its party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) by bringing it together.

Our democracy needs strong and constructive opposition to exist. Certainly, some actors in the Ivorian political system, including within the FPI, would prefer to see him for a long time imprisoned at the IPC in order to be able to exploit politically the political space left empty by his absence. A 72-year-old, tired by so many years of political struggle, by sickness and the usury of imprisonment, both physical and psychological, still has the energy to embark on harsh and harassing political clashes , In which all moves are allowed.

Does he still want that political life in which the violence, wickedness, immorality and hatred of the other completely dehumanizes you? With hindsight, the experience of power, rough political struggles, illness, confrontation with the international community for many years to keep in power, imprisonment repeatedly, did not he envy To become a “wise man” in his country and to be a model for the younger generations of Ivorian and African political actors?

Former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo, arrested on Monday 11 April 2011, following the post-election crisis following the 2010 presidential election, has been detained since 30 November 2011 in The Hague, the Netherlands, by the Court International Criminal Court (ICC), whose trial is still ongoing.

For his political opponents, he is at the origin of this post-electoral crisis which officially made 3000 dead and thousands injured physically and psychologically. For his supporters, on the contrary, he is unjustly imprisoned and still asks for his release in order to reconcile the Ivorians and recreate a true social cohesion.


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