The topic of an election in the African continent is always a controversial issue that takes many by storm. It is either that the election will be peaceful but with a lot of disputes or end up to be riotous. Just the other day, Burundi held its general election whereby Evariste Ndashimiye won peacefully but the opposition party contested the results. The outgoing president, Nkurunziza, is to be out of the seat by early August.
However, some countries like Kenya and Ivory Coast have experienced violence after elections. In 2007, Kenya went through a hard time as violence spiked in the country due to the elections. Some political leaders were to appear to the International Criminal Court to explain the cause of the post-election violence. Similarly, in 2010, Ivory Coast experienced the same situation as Laurent Gbagbo, the defeated opponent, refused to come out of power.
Who Is Laurent Gbagbo?
Gbagbo was born on 31st May 1945 in Gagnoa. He was once a professor. Authorities put him in prison for 2 years. Later, he got his doctorate at Paris Diderot University. A year later he was the Director of the Institute of History, Art and African Archeology at the Abidjan University. Gbagbo was also involved in a strike as a participant of the National Trade Union of Research and Higher Education.
Laurent Gbagbo Triggers 2010 Post-Election Violence
Ivory Coast had a general election in 2010. Gbagbo postponed the presidential election despite his term ending in 2005. During the first round of the election, no one had the majority vote so officials arranged for a second round. In the first round, Gbagbo defeated Ouattara by 6%. During the second round, the election body announced Ouattara as the winner of the elections. Laurent’s political party said there were irregularities and officials to cancel some votes in other areas. The CEI and observers rejected Gbagbo’s complaints. However, the Constitutional Council disqualified votes from the regions concluding that without the votes Laurent was the winner.
Laurent commanded the army to block borders and external news firms were not to operate. He then reinstalled himself as the president but was rejected by the US, France, the UN, the AU, and ECOWAS. Internationally, Ouattara was the one accepted as the peoples’ President. Afterward, Gbagbo decided to attack the people of the north who are Muslims by religion. The ex-president also wanted the United Nations peacekeepers and the French army to get out of Ivory Coast. The violence caused over 2500 people to die and millions of people lost their homes.
His Arrest And Trial
In 2011, French forces attacked the president’s home. Loyal forces to Ouattara took Gbagbo and arrested him. During the same year, the ICC started an investigation on Gbagbo’s acts of violence. The ICC later charged the tyrant with sexual violence and murder. A year later, authorities arrested Justin Kone, former budget minister, for robbery. On 28th January 2016, his trial began at the ICC but he did not accept any charges against him. After 2 years, ICC showed testimonies of over 80 people and many pieces of proof.
The Release Of Laurent Gbagbo
Early this year, the ICC Appeals Chamber released Gbagbo on some conditions he was to fulfill. He was told to live around Belgium and present himself to court whenever a piece of new evidence shows up. During this previous week, the ICC allowed Laurent to leave the country conditionally and they would consider him returning home.