Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Ivorian opposition leader sentenced to life in absentia

Abidjan, Ivory Coast – A court in Ivory Coast has sentenced prominent opposition figure and former prime minister Guillaume Soro to life imprisonment for “undermining the security of the state”.

A criminal court in the West African country’s largest city, Abidjan, also ordered the dissolution of Mr Soro’s political movement, which was formed after he resigned as the president of the legislature in 2019.

Mr Soro, who was in exile in France, was tried in absentia. An international arrest warrant has been issued for him and five others living outside the country.

Mr Soro called the decision unjust. In a statement on his Twitter account, he said, “I completely reject these unfair decisions, which are outside all rules of law and are decided only by political considerations.”

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“These decisions reinforce my belief that we must fight boldly and without any weakness against the occupation of the Ivorian state,” he said.

Mr Soro, a former rebel leader who would go on to become Speaker of the National Assembly, had already been sentenced last year to 20 years in prison for embezzlement of public funds and money laundering. His supporters say the allegations are politically motivated.

Mr Soro, barred from running in the country’s presidential election last year, called on the military to disobey President Alassane Ouattara, who won a third term in a controversial election.

Nation World News Desk
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