Former Ivorian Heads of States, Henri Konan Bedie and Laurent Gbagbo hold talks in Brussels.
Posted by Ivory Coast Tribune.
July 31, 2019.
Photo: other source.
To quote the great reggae lyricist Joseph Hill, " Tribal war can't solve the problem. Tribal war can't solve it at all". Who would have thought that one day, two of the three staunch adversaries of Ivorian politics could have a civil "sit down and talk" session after the post-electoral crisis of 2010? Hope for renewed Peace and Reconciliation for the sons and daughters of Côte d'Ivoire has finally hit a major milestone.
On Monday, July 29, 2019, during a 3 hours meeting, in accordance with African tradition, former President Henri Konan BEDIE, accompanied by his wife, paid a courtesy visit to former President Laurent GBAGBO.
Their excellencies were particularly pleased to hold this first meeting since the end of the post-electoral crisis of 2010. The two men expressed their compassion and solidarity to the people of Côte d'Ivoire for the trauma and the many sufferings of the crisis.
Presidents Henri Konan BEDIE and Laurent GBAGBO paid tribute to all the victims of these events that have scared the Nation.
According to the final joint press release, they have:
expressed their deepest condolences to the bereaved families, their sympathy for the many victims, in particular, those disabled for life. Their solidarity to all those who have lost assets, or suffered prejudice of any kind.
Both former Presidents expressed mutual condolences for the many bereavements that have struck both families since 2010,
Mr. Henri Konan BEDIE was particularly pleased with the acquittal of President Laurent GBAGBO and wished he would return earnestly to Côte d'Ivoire to actively take part in the process of National Reconciliation.
After an in-depth analysis of the social and political environment, Mr. Henri Konan BEDIE and Mr. Laurent GBAGBO agreed on the urgent need to work for the return of lasting Peace in Côte d'Ivoire.
Both regret that Democracy and the Rule of law continue to be undermined in Côte d'Ivoire. They strongly believe that the Executive should steer away from meddling with opposition parties. Both are particularly concerned and saddened that many of their compatriots continue to live in forced exile whilst others are incarcerated for their political beliefs.
They have both reiterated that true Democracy does not condone imprisonment and political exile. Therefore, they strongly hope that all exiled should be allowed to return whilst political prisoners, both civilians and military should be freed without delay.
They call on political parties, associations, the civil society, all communities living in Côte d’Ivoire, to be resolute in their willingness to seek out the means for National Reconciliation and consolidation of sustainable Peace, the true factors of development and prosperity for harmonious living conditions of all Ivorians.
For a free and transparent election in 2020, both call on the government to operate profound reforms of the Electoral Commission to help in consolidating social Peace in Côte d' Ivoire.
His excellency Mr. Laurent Gbagbo is appreciative and comforted by the visit from the elder Statesman, a remarkable show of Republican resolve that should be spread and sustained through the country, for spearheading National Reconciliation by all Ivorians and all those living in our beautiful country, Côte d’Ivoire.
When the dust settles and all is said and done, the missing piece of the puzzle, President Ouattara, will hopefully jump on the wagon of PEACE.
May God Bless Ivory Coast.