cordial meeting between Alassane Ouattara and

The meeting is described as historic. Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo met for the first time since the crisis after the 2010-2011 elections. The meeting took place at the Presidential Palace in Abijan and lasted for one hour.

as reported from Abidjan, Sidy Yansane

The meeting has just ended. After an hour-long interview, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara left the living room of the presidency’s small palace. They were preceded by a few leaders from their respective parties.

The two presidents each made a statement to the press in a very friendly, very fraternal atmosphere and took turns speaking very briefly.

First, Laurent Gbagbo clarified that during the interview with President Alassane Ouattara, he has raised the issue of political prisoners being held since the murderous post-election crisis of 2010-2011, which has been the root of the demolition of the two camps for ten years now. Laurent Gbagbo is calling for this release and is apparently leaving President Alassane Ouattara as the sole judge to make a decision.

Other meetings to come

President Alassane Ouattara, who first began thanking Laurent Gbagbo, also expressed his condolences to Laurent Gbagbo for the death of his mother, who died while imprisoned at the ICC. This reminded Mr Ouattara that his own mother had died in exile in France during the crisis following the 2010-2011 elections and that Laurent Gbagbo had facilitated his return.

Alassane Ouattara also welcomed this first meeting: “It was important to restore confidence,” he said. He assured that other meetings with his predecessor will come after the month of August, according to the president. Meetings that will be extended to other people on the Ivorian political scene. One thinks, of course, of Henri Konan Bédié, president of the PDCI, who switched to the opposition three years ago, before recently merging with Laurent Gbagbo’s FPI.

Both Mr Ouattara and Mr Gbagbo insisted that they were willing to move on. And before that is the march towards real national reconciliation.

► Read also: Ivory Coast: Alassane Ouattara demands that the national reconciliation process continue


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More