Charles Blé Goudé returns to Ivory Coast after 9 years of exile

Charles Blé Goudé returns to Ivory Coast after 9 years of exile

Charles Blé Goudé, pillar of the regime of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, returned to his native country on Saturday, after his acquittal by international justice.

The former right-hand man of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo arrived at Abidjan airport on a flight from Ghana, where he was welcomed by a small committee. Instructions were given to his supporters to avoid going there. He was nevertheless welcomed by former First Lady Simone Gbagbo.

Charles Blé Goudé, 50, was arrested in 2013 in Ghana, then transferred to The Hague in 2014 after several months under house arrest in Abidjan following the crisis that marred the 2010 presidential election.

Alassane Ouattara’s presidential victory, contested by Laurent Gbagbo, created an unprecedented crisis that led to the death of 3,000 people and Gbagbo’s arrest in April 2011.

The former president and Charles Blé Goudé, were subsequently finally acquitted in March 2021 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague of alleged crimes during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis.

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