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Supporters of Ivorian ex-president Gbagbo call for his release

Feb 01, 2016 Supporters of Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo recently staged a protest demanding for his release. The demonstrators insisted that he is innocent, as he stands trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

Laurent Gbagbo, who is accused of unleashing a civil war that killed 3,000 people after he refused to accept losing a re-election bid in 2010, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan, many people insisted that the ex-leader is a victim of collusion between France and current President Alassane Ouattara.

While reiterating Gbagbo’s innocence, one of his supporters Elene Sie said:

“With this trial, we want our president to be freed. Gbagbo is innocent. It is the Westerners who locked him up, but Gbagbo did nothing. They don’t want him to govern…The ICC is not an impartial institution. It is there to lock up Africans. We don’t want the ICC anymore. Justice needs to be returned to the Africans. We can solve our own problems among ourselves.”

Another supporter, Roger Takore said:

“Today the ICC will reveal itself to the whole world. We are here to find out what it actually represents. It’s true that we have prejudices, but with this trial, the ICC will show the world what is truly is. It’s not Gbagbo that’s on trial but the ICC because we already know who Gbagbo is,”

The trial is widely regarded as a test for the ICC, which is seen in much of Africa as a neo-colonial institution that does the bidding of its European financial backers.

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