Cote d’Ivoire former First Lady Simone Gbagbo

Cote d’Ivoire’s jailed former First Lady Simone Gbagbo has been granted amnesty by the President in what he says is a move to foster reconciliation.

In 2015, Mrs Gbagbo was sentenced to 20 years for her role in the violence that followed the 2010 elections in which more than 3 000 people died.

Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, is on trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Mrs Gbagbo was among 800 people that President Alassane Ouattara pardoned.

President Ouattara said he wanted to bring about “peace and real reconciliation” through the amnesty.

The violence in 2010 in Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, was sparked by Mr Gbagbo refusing to accept that he lost a disputed election run-off to Mr Ouattara.

Mr and Mrs Gbagbo were arrested in 2011 after troops stormed a bunker where the pair had taken refuge in the main city, Abidjan.

The former first lady was accused of “attempting to undermine the security of the state”, disturbing public order and organising armed gangs.