Burkina Faso’s deposed president Blaise Compaore left Ivory Coast to head for Morocco on Thursday, the Ivorian presidency said.
Compaore is widely seen by Gbagbo’s camp as being behind a failed 2002 coup seeking to depose him, which plunged Ivory Coast into nearly a decade of conflict.
Compaore left Burkina Faso under pressure from mass protests triggered by his attempt to change the constitution to extend his 27-year reign of power.
Ivory Coast took him in, housing him and his sizeable entourage in a walled villa with neatly mown lawns in Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital.
But a source in the Ivorian president’s office said that on Thursday, Compaore, his wife Chantal and family members boarded a specially chartered plane for Morocco.
The source insisted Compaore’s departure was not definitive and that he was “welcome to return”.
Moroccan authorities have made no comment.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI sent a message of congratulations to Burkina Faso’s interim president, Michel Kafando, after he was sworn in on Tuesday.
Campaore’s arrival in Ivory Coast — facilitated by the French military — had triggered anger for some because the 2002 coup attempt effectively divided the country in two, with rebels controlling the northern part bordering Burkina Faso and the south under the government’s control.
French sources alleged that hundreds of Ivorian rebels were trained in Burkina Faso and that Compaore gave financial backing to Ouattara.
Gbagbo’s decade-long rule of Ivory Coast ended in ignominy after he refused to accept defeat in an election in November 2010.
About 3,000 people were killed in clashes between his supporters and factions loyal to Ouattara, who was proclaimed winner of the election.
Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011 by pro-Ouattara forces and is due to go on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity in July next year.
Soldiers in Ivory Coast launched protests across the country this week over a pay dispute, and stormed a TV station to broadcast a message of defiance.
They returned to their barracks on Wednesday after the government promised measures aimed at meeting the soldiers’ demands, but the protests sparked concerns about a return to unstable times in the world’s largest cocoa exporter.
source : The News