Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters celebrate ICC acquittal

Gbagbo was arrested for crimes against humanity in 2011 following post-electoral violence in the world’s number cocoa producer that left 3,000 people dead.

People celebrate with a portrait of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo on 15 January 2019 in his birth-town Gagnoa after the news that International Criminal Court acquitted Gbagbo over a wave of post-electoral violence, in a stunning blow to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Picture: AFP

ABIDJAN - Supporters of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo have filled the streets of the economic capital Abidjan at news of his acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Gbagbo was arrested for crimes against humanity in 2011 following post-electoral violence in the world’s number cocoa producer that left 3,000 people dead.

He’d refused to accept defeat to President Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo or nothing, a supporter shouted who was clad in an outfit with the former president's face on it.

She’d watched proceedings from The Hague on a television set up in a maquis, or local restaurant, on the streets of Yopougon, Abidjan’s most populous neighborhood and Ivorian Popular Front party stronghold.

The court ruled that the prosecutor had failed to demonstrate several core constitutive elements of the crimes as charged, including the existence of a so-called “common plan” to keep Gbagbo in power.

Details of his release will be announced on Tuesday, as the West African nation prepares for crucial presidential polls next year.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)