Following a July meeting between the current President of Côte d’Ivoire and the two men who preceded him in that office, President Alassane Ouattara announced a pardon on 7 August for former President Laurent Gbagbo. Ouattara characterized this as an important step toward “social cohesion". The two men had been the main candidates in the 2010 presidential election. Ouattara was declared the winner, but Gbagbo refused to concede. A short civil war followed in which supporters of Ouattara were victorious. Following that conflict, Gbagbo was convicted in absentia in 2018 of crimes relating to the looting of the central bank during the war. Gbagbo was also acquitted of the charge of war crimes at a trial at the International Criminal Court in 2019. The pardon is a significant moment and could promote peace and reconciliation, however, it is not clear how substantively legitimate the pardon is.