Former Prime Minister of Ivory Coast Guillaume Soro, in exile since 2019, indicated on Thursday April 4 that he had spoken on the phone with President Alassane Ouattara to establish political appeasement in the country, confirming information from Africa Intelligence.

In a brief statement published on social networks, Mr. Soro claims to have telephoned the Head of State in March to “welcome the beginning of political relaxation in Côte d’Ivoire”, exchanges “marked by cordiality” according to him . He also ensures that he maintains “his desire to serve the cause of reconciliation and peace in Côte d’Ivoire” and remains “open to dialogue”.

According to Mr. Soro’s entourage, this is the first direct discussion between the two men in almost five years. ” This is not an April Fool. Next time, it will be in Ivory Coast. The 2025 presidential election is not far away. We need to get active,” Mr. Soro added in a tweet. When requested, the Ivorian presidency was not immediately available Thursday morning for a reaction.

Defining the contours of “reconciliation”

In February, Mr. Ouattara pardoned around fifty prisoners, including several close to Mr. Soro, convicted of “attempting to undermine state security.” The online media Africa Intelligence mentioned on Thursday morning two calls between the two men, on March 29 and 30, during which they agreed to discuss again to define the contours of a “reconciliation”.

Former leader of the rebellion which controlled the northern half of Ivory Coast in the 2000s, then prime minister and president of the National Assembly, Guillaume Soro fell out with Alassane Ouattara in 2019, the year he went into exile .

He was sentenced in 2020, in his absence, to twenty years in prison for “concealment of embezzlement of public funds” in Ivory Coast, then to life imprisonment a year later for “endangering state security” . It has returned to Africa since the end of 2023 and circulates between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, three countries ruled by military regimes. The next presidential election in Ivory Coast is due to be held in October 2025.