Simone Gbagbo free, supporters overjoyed by presidential pardon

She was serving a 20-year sentence for crimes against the state for her role in post-electoral violence in 2010 and 2011 that left 3000 people dead.

Supporters of Ivory Coast's former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, celebrate in front of her residence in the Riviera neighbourhood of Abidjan holding a poster with Gbagbo's portrait as they wait for her release from prison on 8 August 2018. Picture: AFP

ABIDJAN - Former First Lady of Ivory Coast Simone Gbagbo has been released following a presidential pardon.

She was serving a 20-year sentence for crimes against the state for her role in post-electoral violence in 2010 and 2011 that left 3,000 people dead.

President Alassane Ouattara granted amnesty to 800 political prisoners during a televised address ahead of the country's Independence Day on Tuesday.

Supporters are overjoyed and say now that Gbagbo has been released they're waiting for her husband Laurent Gbagbo to be acquitted in the International Criminal Court and to lead them once more.

She was acquitted on separate charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity last year, but that decision was overturned two weeks ago.

The amnesty granted by Ouattara this week includes all legal pursuits against the 800 political prisoners.

He said the amnesty decision shows a commitment to peace and reconciliation in the country.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)