Ivorians, many exiled in South Africa, are celebrating the release and amnesty of former First Lady Simone Gbagbo, who husband, former president Laurent Gbagbo has been in detention at the International Criminal Court at The Hague since 2011 on charges of crimes against humanity.
The president and first lady were arrested for their roles in political violence which claimed several thousand lives following the 2010 elections in the Ivory Coast. The former Ivory Coast first lady was sentenced to a 20-year jail term for endangering State security in 2015.
She was found guilty of many crimes including masterminding the 2011 shelling of a market in an Abidjan district which supported President Alassane Ouattara. Last week she was released after being granted amnesty by President Alassane Ouattara.
a representative of Lairent Gbagbo's party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) in South Africa, Mesmer Zuzwa said over the weekend: Today she is released but that is not a decision of Mr Outarra. He is under pressure at home and internationally. He was used by France to fight with us.
About 3,000 people died in post-election violence in the country's commercial capital, Abidjan, when Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to Ouattara, following presidential elections in November 2010.
Another official of the FPI in South Africam Oupa Sisinyo, said: We should see the truth of what happened. President Gbagbo and the FPI won elections, and a rebellion came, and people died. The question is who caused the rebellion? Where are those who came in to cause the rebellion?
Like the former president and first lady, many of these Ivorians still fear that they too will be arrested if they return home. Meanwhile, Laurent Gbagbo's trial which started at the ICC two years ago, continues.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK