REPORT – His supporters hope for the inevitable return of the former Ivorian president since his acquittal at the ICC in 2019.
Special envoy to Abidjan
The ritual is daily. At the end of the afternoon, when the heat is a little less stifling, the kids gather on this vast expanse of beaten earth. We play football for an hour or two on this improvised field that everyone calls the Laurent Gbagbo esplanade. In Gagnoa, no one really knows why the place took this name. We simply know that it brings together the only two real passions of this big city in western Ivory Coast: the round ball and the former president.
When the evening gets too dark, the players leave. The bars, a precise tangle of plastic tables and chairs, slowly light up and fill. The largest is the Ivorian Prestige Counter, the CPI, a direct allusion to the International Criminal Court, the ICC, where Laurent Gbagbo is on trial. The huge sign seems as much a mocking nod to this distant and considered biased justice as a way to remind its support for the child of the country.
On this October evening,
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