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Gbagbo’s ally, Charles Bly Gode, returns to Ivory Coast

The ex-president’s former right-hand man was a key figure in the post-election violence that engulfed the country in 2010-2011.

Charles Bel Gode, the main figure in the post-election violence that engulfed Ivory Coast 11 years ago, returned to the country on Saturday for the first time in more than eight years, Agence France-Presse reported.

Last year, the International Criminal Court acquitted former right-hand man Laurent Gbagbo of charges of crimes against humanity, along with his former boss.

Judy’s return is the latest in a number of high-profile political figures who have fallen out with the current administration since the conflict. In August, President Alassane Ouattara who won the 2010 elections that Gbagbo refused to concede, Sorry the last one. The former president – who returned to Ivory Coast last June – as part of a campaign for reconciliation ahead of elections scheduled for 2025.

In July, the president also rarely held Meeting With Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bedie, another political rival who was president from 1993 until his removal in a 1999 coup.

Gbagbo, 77, was a fiery left-wing orator from a humble background who portrayed himself as the champion of the poor, president of Ivory Coast for 10 turbulent years.

In October 2010 he lost the election to Ouattara, but refused to accept the result. Their confrontation divided the country along north and south lines, sparking violence in 2011 that killed an estimated 3,000 people.

At the time, Blizzard was the head of a pro-Gbagbo nationalist group called the Young Patriots – his nickname was “General of the Streets” for his ability to rouse and rouse angry crowds.

Some in Ivory Coast fear his arrival could trigger a return to confrontation in a country still healing the wounds of the 2010-2011 conflict.

But Bugha Sacco, who heads its welcome committee, said in a press conference on Thursday that Bly Jodi “would like to make a sober comeback”.

In a statement to AFP on Thursday, Bel Gudeh said he was “very happy” to be back in his homeland, but also called for “discipline and a spirit of reunification.”

Belle Judd was issued a passport in May. The 50-year-old, dressed in a suit and tie, landed Saturday at the airport in the capital, Abidjan, after flying a commercial flight from neighboring Ghana, according to an AFP correspondent on the scene.

About ten people, including the wife of former President Simon Gbagbo, gathered to welcome him.

Security measures were tightened around the airport, and a few hours before his arrival, the police expelled most of the journalists, and a press release that was planned was cancelled, according to Agence France-Presse.

After Gbagbo’s arrest, Blé Gode fled to Ghana, where he was arrested in 2013 and transferred to The Hague. He and his former boss were brought to trial in 2016 for crimes against humanity. They were acquitted in 2019, a ruling that was finally upheld in March last year.

Gbagbo still has a lot of support in Ivory Coast.

He donned the role of an elder statesman to help “reconcile” a country shaken by the bloody violence that erupted when Ouattara in October 2020 bid for a third term in office – a move critics said violated the constitution.

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