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IVORY COAST – “He told me that if I left power, I would not be prosecuted,” says Laurent Gbagbo

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Laurent Gbagbo

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo spoke on his Facebook page describing precisely the telephone exchanges between him and the American authorities at the time, including an American undersecretary of state. Then Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tried to reach her to convince her to give up power and to go into exile with sixty people from her entourage completely taken in charge. They wanted, according to him, to exhort him to leave the power which, according to him, was the only victor. It is now 2011, the election of the president has just ended. Laurent Gbagbo outgoing president candidate for his own succession claims power. Alassane Ouattara, his opponent also claims the head of Côte d’Ivoire. An arm wrestling ensued between the two warring parties, with the international community and France at the head of this political ring as the referee. On 11 April 2011, Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and some 40 relatives were arrested by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara. This is the end of what has been called the “Battle of Abidjan”. Laurent Gbagbo will be translated at the ICC with his Youth Minister Charles Blé Goudé.

This Sunday, April 18, 2021, Laurent Gbagbo returned to this political page of Côte d’Ivoire. Above the words published on his page:

“An American undersecretary of state called me and spoke to me for at least an hour. He told me that if I left power, I would not be prosecuted, I could go into exile with sixty-four people from my entourage and that all would be taken in charge. As for me, I would be housed, fed and laundered, I would have a job and income equivalent to $2 million, etc. This conversation or rather this monologue was surreal. There was such a disconnect between what this gentleman was saying and the reality that I lived with the Ivorian people that his speech was indigestible. I finally hung up, tired of hearing him talk about the proposals that were waiting for me if I agreed to leave power. I thought there was something strange about that speech. What was the subject? In my opinion, this was the result of the presidential elections. They all claimed that I had lost the presidential elections but the Constitutional Council of my country said the opposite. I asked to count the votes, they refused. I even proposed an independent international commission of inquiry to examine the facts. They refused. However, the data is simple. If it is proven that I lost the election, I bow without further discussion. If I have won, I am prepared to make political concessions to create a climate of calm and peace throughout the country. But why do they insist on making absurd proposals to me? Why are they trying to bribe me and threaten me if they’re convinced I lost the election?

Shortly after this strange phone call, my advisors told me that Hillary Clinton was trying to reach me on the phone. I refuse to take the communication because I am convinced that I will spend another moment hearing the same proposals. She finally sent me a message to suggest what to do. I didn’t even open the envelope. After Hillary Clinton, President Obama called me directly. Once again, I refused to take the call. I no longer wanted to listen to the boring speeches and the Ubscious proposals they inflicted on my ears. Gbagbo Laurent”

As a reminder, Gbagbo Laurent and his Minister of Youth and the former head of the Young Patriots Charles Blel Goude were acquitted by the International Criminal Court in January 2019. The ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed their acquittal on Wednesday, 31 March 2021, after ten years of trial.

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