Ghana, Ivory Coast to Launch Joint Probe of Border Killings

Posted September 25th, 2012 at 8:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Ghana and Ivory Coast will launch a joint task force to probe the deaths of eight Ghanaians killed last week in cross-border attacks on Ivorian military installations.

The announcement Tuesday comes three days after Ivory Coast closed its borders with its neighbor, following raids on police and army installations in a border town and in its commercial capital, Abidjan. Ivorian authorities immediately blamed the attacks on exiled supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo, who is currently facing trial for crimes against humanity.

On Tuesday, Ghanaian Deputy Foreign Minister Chris Kpodo told VOA the Accra government “will not allow our territory” to become a base of operations for Ivorian refugees he said are trying “to subvert their own country.” He also said his country wants to ensure peace and stability in Ivory Coast by intensifying security cooperation.

No timetable for the probe has been announced.

Scores of trucks remained stranded at the border Tuesday, with fresh produce cargo rotting in the equatorial sun. Ivory Coast said Sunday it would reopen its airspace to flights from Ghana, while keeping land and sea borders shut.

Former Ivorian leader Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. The charges stem from violence after he lost the 2010 presidential election to Alessane Ouattara.

Ivorian rebel forces arrested Gbagbo in April and later transferred him to The Hague court.