Arrested ex-Gbagbo Defence chief now under probe in Abidjan
The former Defense Minister under former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, Moise Lida Kouassi is on Thursday facing interrogation in the main city, Abidjan after his extradition from Togo on Wednesday.
He is a key ally of Gbagbo, who is himself in jail at the International Criminal Court (ICC) facing charges of crimes against humanity, after a long detention back home.
Kouassi, whose arrest by Togolese authorities on the same day of a visit to Lome by current President Alassane Outtara, now joins a list of key figures in the former Gbagbo regime and party officials who have been detained in several prisons around the Ivory Coast, since the former Ivorian leader was captured in April 2011 in the wake of the post election violence. Among them are Gbagbo’s wife, Simone Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi.
Gbagbo had refused to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, who was declared winner by the Independent electoral commission (INEC). Fighting ensued between the state army and security forces who backed him and the New Forces rebels and other militias who were supporting Ouattara with the backing of French troops.
An arrest warrant was issued for the former defense minister along with 23 others in June 2011.
Koussi was the defense minister when a September 2002 coup attempt turned into full-scale rebellion. That triggered a long civil war, which led to thousands of deaths and the partitioning of the country.
The November 2010 polls were meant to end the years of protracted war and division of the Ivory Coast.Tweet