Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has pardoned his predecessor and longtime rival, Laurent Gbagbo.
Ouattara made the announcement on Saturday, a day before Ivory Coast’s independence celebrations.
“In the interests of strengthening social cohesion, I have signed a decree granting a presidential pardon."
The president also said he has also asked that Gbagbo’s bank accounts be unfrozen and that his lifetime annuity be paid.
Gbagbo, president from 2000 to 2011, returned to Ivory Coast last year after being acquitted in 2019 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crime charges for his role in a civil war sparked by his refusal to concede defeat after the 2010 election.
Aljazeera added he also faced a 20-year prison sentence for a 2019 conviction linked to the robbery of funds from the Abidjan central bank during the post-election period. But he has always denied the charges.