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Minister appeals to exiled Gbagbo’s supporters to return to Cote d'Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire’s Interior Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, has renewed calls on supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo who are still in exile to return the country.
Bakayoko made the call when Marcel Gossio, former Director-General of Port of Abidjan, and Gbagbo’s supporter visited him.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gossio who fled Cote d’Ivoire to Morocco at the peak of the post-election crisis returned to Abidjan on Friday.
The minister said that the meeting with Gossio was cordial and strategic to the reconciliation process.
“This meeting should send clear signal to our brothers and sisters that are still in exile, Gossio is free; there is no intention to arrest him.
“We want to see our brothers in the former ruling party back home and take part in the reconciliation process in the country,” he said.
Bakayoko said that the dream of sustainable development in the country would not be possible without sincere reconciliation and peace.
“So what we see today is not a political strategy, it is not a trap, it is a sincere demonstration of government’s readiness to ensure reconciliation,” he said.
Also speaking, Gossio said that his return was as a result of the belief that calm had returned in the country.
“It is a thing of joy that I am back home; I am prepared to contribute to the process of reconciliation and peace building.
“It is the responsibility of every Ivorian to take part in the process; we cannot run away from it,” he said.
President Alassane Ouattara had severally called on Ivorians still living as refugees outside the country to return and participate in the reconstruction process.
Ouattara has also continued to pledge his government’s readiness to explore all avenues to dialogue with the opposition.
Thousands of Ivorians, especially supporters of Gbagbo, fled the country following the violence that erupted due to a disputed election between him and Ouattara.
Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa bean producer was hit by a post-election violence reported to have caused the death of no fewer than 3,000 persons.
Source - NAN
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