Lawyer to Ivory Coast’s former President, Laurent Gbagbo say he has filed for divorce from his wife of three decades, days after his highly anticipated return to the country.
Gbagbo’s lawyer, Claude Mentenon said in a statement that after years of “repeated rejected requests for Simone Ehivet to consent to an amicable separation”, the ex-president has asked an Abidjan court for a divorce.
The announcement comes four days after Gbagbo returned to Ivory Coast following a decade’s absence, during which he was tried for crimes against humanity during the post-election conflict of 2010-11.
Simone Gbagbo wielded significant political influence as first lady, and was arrested alongside her husband in April 2011 after he refused to concede defeat, sparking a conflict that left around 3,000 people dead.
Laurent and Simone Gbagbo, who have two daughters, got married in 1989 and campaigned alongside each other for the introduction of multi-party elections in the 1990s.
The 76-year-old ex-president, has been in a relationship for several years with 47-year-old former journalist Nady Bamba.