ICC Charges Former Ivory Coast Leader Gbagbo

Posted November 30th, 2011 at 7:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Supporters of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo say they are boycotting upcoming elections to protest his transfer to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Leaders of Mr. Gbagbo's FPI party call his extradition to the Hague a “political-legal holdup.” The FPI and two other pro-Gbagbo parties say they will no longer be part of reconciliation efforts in Ivory Coast.

The ICC has charged Mr. Gbagbo with four counts of crimes against humanity. It calls him an indirect perpetrator of murder, rape, and other crimes committed during post-election violence earlier this year. At least 3,000 people were killed.

The court says there are “reasonable grounds” to believe pro-Gbagbo forces attacked civilians thought to have supported Mr. Gbagbo's opponent.

Violence exploded in Ivory Coast when Mr. Gbagbo refused to give up power after losing the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo was arrested in April and sent to the Hague Wednesday. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance next Monday.

Chief ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says investigations into the Ivory Coast violence continue and Mr. Gbagbo is only the first to be brought before the court.

Moreno-Ocampo has said there is evidence that both Ouattara and Gbagbo supporters committed war crimes. Mr. Ouattara has created a reconciliation panel aimed at unifying Ivory Coast. He has vowed to hold accountable anyone who committed crimes during the unrest.