The former rebel leader and 2020 presidential candidate in Côte d’Ivoire, Guillaume Soro, denounced in a tweet Tuesday « the unacceptable brutality » of the police against his supporters on Monday.
“The brutality of the repression which has befallen the members of GPS (Generations and Peoples in solidarity, editor’s note) (…) is unacceptable”, wrote on his Twitter account Mr. Soro, whose return to his country was aborted on Monday while 15 of his supporters were arrested.
The former President of the National Assembly (2012-2019) is the subject of an “international arrest warrant” from the Ivorian justice system for “attempted attack on the authority of the State”, a announced Monday evening the prosecutor of the Republic of Abidjan, Richard Adou.
Mr. Soro was due to return to his country after six months of absence to launch his campaign there for the presidential election in October 2020, which promises to be tense. But his private plane finally landed in Ghana.
In a series of messages on his Twitter account, he explains that the captain of his private jet was informed in flight that the plane “could be the subject of an assault” at Abidjan airport and decided to divert to Accra airport.
According to Mr. Soro, the Ghanaian authorities prohibited him from disembarking from his plane, which had to take off.
An airport source in Accra told AFP that Mr. Soro’s plane had landed « briefly » before departing « to Europe ».
In Abidjan on Monday, large numbers of law enforcement officials prevented the gathering of Soro’s supporters at the airport and in the city. Then on Monday afternoon, they stormed the headquarters of the GPS party, where around 100 activists were gathered.
Fifteen supporters of Mr. Soro were arrested, including his right-hand man, Alain Lobognon, according to the prosecutor.