The conditions for the release of the ex Ivorian president and his former Prime Minister Charles Blé Goudé have been relaxed by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“In agreement with the victims and at their request, the CVCI is today announcing major legal actions and public demonstrations. If, within a reasonable period of time, solutions and settlements favourable to the respect of victims’ rights are not reached, the victims and the CVCI reserves the right to organise public demonstrations,” CVCI’s chairman Issiaka Diaby told a press conference.
Mr. Diaby expressed his association’s refusal and concern about Mr. Laurent Gbagbo and Mr. Blé Goudé's return to Cote d’Ivoire after the decision to ease conditions for their release.
“Given Cote d’Ivoire’s dissent (based on the refusal to execute the arrest warrant against Ms. Gbagbo) against the actions of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the possible designation of Cote d’Ivoire to host Laurent Gbagbo and Blé Goudé in execution of the May 28, 2020 decision of the ICC Appeals Chamber is now a cause for concern among victims’ communities in Cote d’Ivoire,” Mr. Diaby said.
According to him, if Mr. Gbagbo and his former co-convict land in Cote d’Ivoire as a result of this ICC decision while the judicial proceedings against them are still pending, “they will no longer be surrendered to the ICC by Cote d’Ivoire with a view to the continuation of the trial.”
Reacting to the various requests addressed to Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara to facilitate Mr. Gbagbo’s return to Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Diaby asked him “to refrain from any act of interference, especially by choosing one side against the other.”
“We are done talking. It’s time for action. We are going to get into action,” CVCI’s chairman concluded.
On May 28, the ICC eased the conditions for the release of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo and Mr. Blé Gbagbo.
Since then, supporters of the former Ivorian president have been calling for their return to the country.