Ivory Coast’s opposition urges return of those in exile

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

Cote d’Ivoire’s main opposition party, Cote d’Ivoire Popular Front (FPI) has urged the government to facilitate safe return of all those who went into exile following the 2010-2011 post-election violence. Ivory Coast
The call by the party of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo comes just four months before the country holds presidential elections.
“FPI is asking the government to do everything possible to ensure all those who went into exile return safely and in dignity, ” the party’s interim secretary general Firmin Krekre said when he addressed the press on Thursday in Abidjan.
At the height of the post-election crisis, close to 300,000 Cote d’Ivoire nationals, majority of them supporters of Gbagbo, took refuge in neighboring countries and Europe.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), at least 25,000 of them are still leaving in the sub-regional countries, especially Liberia, Ghana and Togo.
“These refugees have refused to return home because of insecurity, the losses they suffered, the notion of victor’s justice and the uncertain political future,” FPI said.
Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara has continued to appeal to his fellow citizens in exile to return to their country “without any fear.”
UNHCR had initially conducted several voluntary repatriation operations from Liberia, Ghana and Togo following resumption of political dialogue between the Cote d’Ivoire government and the opposition, a move that enabled many FPI officials to return to the country.
In October this year, Cote d’Ivoire is expected to hold presidential elections to consolidate peace and national reconciliation after the post-poll crisis that left at least 3,000 people dead.
Gbagbo is currently detained at the Hague, awaiting to be charged at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Enditem

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