A year and a half after his final acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he was tried for crimes against humanity, Charles Blé Goudé will return to Côte d’Ivoire on November 26, according to AFP information confirmed by Young Africa. The Ivorian authorities had given the green light on September 30, four months after having granted the former minister of Laurent Gbagbo an ordinary passport via the ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire in the Netherlands.
Ivory Coast: Alassane Ouattara gives the green light to the return of Blé Goudé
The former student unionist, now 50, then assured President Alassane Ouattara of “all his gratitude and recognition for his personal involvement in the process of his return to Côte d’Ivoire”.
“As soon as a consensual date is found with the authorities, it will be communicated to you”, he had also indicated to reassure his supporters in Abidjan and the activists of his party, the Pan-African Congress for Justice and Equality of Peoples. (Cojep). Nicknamed “the general of the street” for his ability to mobilize crowds, et especially young people, Charles Blé Goudé was arrested in 2013 in Ghana and then transferred to The Hague the following year to be tried before the ICC.
Ivory Coast: from The Hague, Charles Blé Goudé in rehabilitation operation
At the end of 2019, the Ivorian justice sentenced him to twenty years in prison for his participation in the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. The question of the execution of this sentence, which was at the heart of the negotiations conducted under the leadership of the chief of staff of the Ivorian president, Claude Sahi Soumahoro, thus seems to have been settled. Laurent Gbagbo, acquitted by the ICC at the same time as his former minister, was able to return to Côte d’Ivoire on June 17, 2021, despite his sentence to twenty years in prison, in 2018, in the “BCEAO heist” affair. Alassane Ouattara granted him presidential pardon in early August “in order to strengthen social cohesion”.
Relations between the former president and his ex-minister have become strained in recent years, to the point that some Gbagbo executives publicly claim to consider Blé Goudé as “a political adversary”. “They announce the divorce, I refuse it. I am in a logic of gathering, “replied Charles Blé Goude at Young Africa.