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December 5, 2011

Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity

Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
Other stories from Côte d’Ivoire
  • 28 August 2012: 2012 makes five Paralympic Games for Côte d’Ivoire
  • 5 December 2011: Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity
  • 11 May 2011: Former F.A. chairman alleges FIFA 2018 World Cup vote was riddled with bribes, corruption
  • 11 April 2011: Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel
  • 9 April 2011: Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan
…More articles here
Location of Côte d’Ivoire

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Laurent Gbagbo in 2007.
Image: Voice of America.

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo today appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to hear charges against him. The ICC has charged him with four counts of crimes against humanity regarding events following last year’s Ivorian presidential election.

Following the election on November 28, Alassane Ouattara was internationally recognized as the winner, but Gbagbo maintained he had won. Subsequent violence killed about 3,000 people. Gbagbo was arrested in April.

Gbagbo is charged as an “indirect co-perpetrator” in “widespread and systematic” crimes “over an extended time period”. He was moved from Ivory Coast to The Hague last week, which his supporters called “political kidnapping”.

Human rights groups have also called for investigation of Ouattara’s supporters. ICC chief prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo said “there is more to come”. UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay noted that “In all of our reports, we made it clear there were violations of human rights on both sides”.

Since the ICC was established in 2002, this is the first time an ex-head of state has been brought before it. All the cases now being heard by the ICC are African, although some non-African preliminary investigations are underway. To date, the ICC has never successfully convicted anyone.



Related news

  • “Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel” — Wikinews, April 11, 2011

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April 11, 2011

Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel

Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel

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Monday, April 11, 2011

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Laurent Gbagbo has reportedly been detained by French elite forces.
Image: Voice of America.

Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president of Ivory Coast, is being taken to a hotel in the capital Abidjan to meet with internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara after the beseiged ruler was detained by forces loyal to the opposition.

The permanent representative of Ivory Coast to the United Nations in New York, Youssoufou Bamba, said Gbagbo, who he described as “alive and well”, had been captured by opposition forces in a raid on his presidential palace in Abidjan and will stand trial. The prime minister in Ouattara’s prospective government has called on Gbagbo loyalists to join the opposition this afternoon, reports indicate.

Bamba confirmed forces loyal to Ouattara had captured Gbagbo, rather than French or U.N. forces as had initially been reported. “The nightmare is over for the people of Ivory Coast, there is much celebration,” Bamba said. “He is now being held in a safe place for the next steps to put him on trial.” New video footage of Gbagbo has emerged, purportedly showing him detained in a hotel in Abidjan where Ouattara is staying.

Fighting has been continuing in the African state since a disputed election in November last year. Supporters of Ouattara claim he won the poll and is the rightful president, but Gbagbo has refused to stand down.



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April 6, 2011

Disputed Ivory Coast president Gbagbo negotiating surrender

Disputed Ivory Coast president Gbagbo negotiating surrender

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
Other stories from Côte d’Ivoire
  • 28 August 2012: 2012 makes five Paralympic Games for Côte d’Ivoire
  • 5 December 2011: Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity
  • 11 May 2011: Former F.A. chairman alleges FIFA 2018 World Cup vote was riddled with bribes, corruption
  • 11 April 2011: Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel
  • 9 April 2011: Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan
…More articles here
Location of Côte d’Ivoire

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Côte d’Ivoire, see the Côte d’Ivoire Portal
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The United Nations has announced that three Ivory Coast military leaders are in the process of negotiating a potential surrender for disputed president Laurent Gbagbo.

After several days of fighting, during which forces loyal to internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara moved south towards the city of Abidjan, Gbagbo is reported to have taken shelter in a bunker underneath the presidential palace in Abidjan. Pro-Ouattara forces are reported to have surrounded the palace.

According to the UN and French officials, an agreement that would see Gbagbo relinquish power is close to being finalized. Military forces loyal to Gbagbo have already declared a ceasefire. According to France’s foreign minister, Alain Juppe, “[w]e are very close to convincing him [Gbagbo] to leave power.”

The military officials involved — the heads of the army, police and guard forces — are reported to be requesting guarantees of safety in return for Gbagbo’s surrender. A Gbagbo spokesperson, Ahoua Don Mello, said that “direct negotiations based on African Union recommendations” had taken place, though Gbabgo himself said that “on a political level, no decision has yet been taken.”



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April 5, 2011

UN attacks Gbagbo military positions in Ivory Coast

UN attacks Gbagbo military positions in Ivory Coast

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

File photo of Laurent Gbagbo
Image: Zenman.

A spokesman for the United Nations has announced that UN helicopters attacked an encampment of President Laurent Gbagbo’s fighters in Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) to stop the use of heavy weapons and shelling of civilians.

“We launched an operation to neutralise heavy weapons Gbagbo’s special forces have been using against the civilian population for the last three months. We destroyed them in four locations”, said spokesman Hamadoun Toure in an email. In concert with the UN, France has deployed an additional 350 peacekeepers to compliment its 7,500 troops already in the country. It was also reported that the French were in control of the airport in Abidjan.

The recent violence in Ivory Coast stems from Gbagbo’s refusal to accept his loss in the recent presidential elections. He has stated that he will not transfer power to his successor Alassane Ouattara, the declared winner. Gbagbo’s spokesman, Abdon George Bayeto, told the BBC the elections were rigged as an “international plot against the incumbent” and was going to continue fighting forces loyal to Ouattara.

Lieutenant Jean-Marc Tago of the Ivory Coast army announced the return of General Phillippe Mangou. Although it has been reported that the general’s family was being held hostage by Gbagbo forces, Tago claims this is untrue, saying, “The general is with us, and has always been with us. Our plan is to defend the institutions of the republic against all its enemies, against the rebels, against the mercenaries, against the [United Nations] and all those who are attacking the institutions of the republic commanded by President Laurent Gbagbo.”

British foreign secretary William Hague said in a statement, “We call for an end to the violence, for defeated former president Gbagbo to step down, for all human rights abuses to be investigated, and for the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes which appear to have taken place.”

The crisis has created a humanitarian problem as one million of Abidjan’s four million people has been displaced.


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March 30, 2011

Forces loyal to Ouattara plan to seal Ivory Coast border

Forces loyal to Ouattara plan to seal Ivory Coast border

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
Other stories from Côte d’Ivoire
  • 28 August 2012: 2012 makes five Paralympic Games for Côte d’Ivoire
  • 5 December 2011: Gbagbo appears at international court for alleged crimes against humanity
  • 11 May 2011: Former F.A. chairman alleges FIFA 2018 World Cup vote was riddled with bribes, corruption
  • 11 April 2011: Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel
  • 9 April 2011: Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan
…More articles here
Location of Côte d’Ivoire

A map showing the location of Côte d'Ivoire

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Côte d’Ivoire, see the Côte d’Ivoire Portal
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After a battle for the Ivory Coast town of Duekoue, armed forces loyal to president-elect Alassane Ouattara have announced an effort to seal the border between the Ivory Coast and Liberia.

On Monday, Ouattara forces, dubbed New Forces, and those loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who claims to be the winner of a disputed election last fall, began fighting in Duekoue, a western town of strategic importance due to its position at a crossroads, with access to both Liberia and Guinea.

According to a spokesperson for Ouattara, Seydou Ouattara, the New Forces won the battle, the latest in a series of settlements they have taken control of in recent weeks, and have moved south towards the town of Guiglo.

The New Forces also announced they plan to seal the Ivory Coast—Liberia border, as Gbagbo is accused of importing Liberians to fight in his forces. Spokesperson Ouattara said that “[t]oday’s operation will prevent Gbagbo from recruiting and training Liberians as he has been doing.”

According to the United Nations, around 460 people have died in violence since the disputed elections, and another million have left the country.



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March 18, 2011

United Nations says Ivory Coast shelling may be \’war crime\’

United Nations says Ivory Coast shelling may be ‘war crime’

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
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After 25 people were killed Thursday by shells fired into the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, the United Nations has issued a statement condemning the incident.

The shelling on Thursday resulted in around a hundred casualties, 25 of which were deaths. At least six shells were reportedly fired from military barracks into the district of Abobo, a region that supports Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of the Ivory Coast after elections in late 2010.

According to the UN, forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who also claims to have won the election, were responsible for the shelling, though Gbagbo’s supporters deny this.

The UN said that the incident was an act that “perpetrated against civilians, could constitute a crime against humanity.” Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that the UN will “continue to take the necessary steps to protect the civilian population” in the country.

A spokesperson for Gbagbo, Ahoua Don Mello, however, denied responsibility for the shelling, claiming that the UN allegations were part of a “conspiracy” with Ouattara and France, the Ivory Coast’s former colonial ruler, that would result in the removal of Gbagbo from power.

France also condemned the shelling, saying it was “deliberate massacre of civilians,” and requested that the UN Security Council impose sanctions against Gbagbo and his allies.

Unrest since the presidential election is estimated to have killed 410 people and caused 450,000 people to leave their homes.


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January 27, 2011

Ivory Coast trade embargo backed by US

Ivory Coast trade embargo backed by US – Wikinews, the free news source

Ivory Coast trade embargo backed by US

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
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Location of Côte d’Ivoire

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The Ivory Coast produces a third of the world’s cocoa supply.
Image: David.Monniaux.

The United States has stated Monday that it will support a month-long ban on cocoa exports from the Ivory Coast, which was called for by its internationally recognised president, Alassane Ouattara. The move comes as Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president of Côte d’Ivoire, refused to concede the presidency after November’s election.

Ouattara hopes that the embargo will result in Gbagbo being forced to resign, unable to pay civil servants, including the security forces, due to lost revenue. “We do support President Ouattara’s call for a month-long ban on cocoa exports, our embassy is in touch with relevant players on this”, said US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

US agricultural firm Cargill, which buys around 15% of Ivorian cocoa, have said they are “temporarily suspending” those purchases. “We are working with others in the industry and with the authorities to clarify and resolve the situation as quickly as possible”, Cargill stated.

Gbagbo’s finance minister, Desire Dalo, denied that the embargo has had any effect on the country’s cocoa production. Mars, one of the world’s largest confectionery manufacturers, said in a statement that “as a major end-user of Ivorian cocoa we will work with our suppliers in the face of this ban”, and that “in the short term this will not impact our ability to manufacture the chocolate products”.



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January 7, 2011

Ivory Coast expels British, Canadian ambassadors

Ivory Coast expels British, Canadian ambassadors

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Côte d’Ivoire
Other stories from Côte d’Ivoire
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Location of Côte d’Ivoire

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Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo in 2007
Image: VOA News.

The incumbent leader of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, is expelling the Canadian and British ambassadors, according to state television.

State television reports the envoys are being expelled as a reciprocal measure, as the respective countries did not recognise Gbagbo’s leadership. This is following his decision not to step down despite international recognition of rival Alassane Ouattara winning the November 2010 presidential election. Canada withdrew recognition of Louis L.B. Bony — Gbagbo’s ambassador to Canada — on December 29, with the United Kingdom following suit on December 31. In addition, France, the former colonial power of the Ivory Coast, has stated that it will recognise Ouattara’s appointee, as has the United Nations.

Although the ambassadors have been expelled, their diplomatic privileges will not be revoked until such time as they leave the Ivory Coast.

Outtara, who won 54% of the vote, which was backed by the United Nations and the country’s Electoral Commission, remains under protection by UN peacekeepers, in a hotel in the main city and former capital of Abidjan.

The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom issued a travel warning in force for the Ivory Coast last month, advising British nationals to “leave by commercial means, if safe to do so”, due to the threat of “widespread instability in Abidjan and other major cities. The Foreign Office [of the UK] continues to advise against all travel to Cote d’Ivoire”.

In a separate incident, the United States announced that US citizens were to be barred from dealing financially with Gbagbo, and that the assets of Gbagbo, his wife and three aides, had been frozen. Gbagbo retains control of the state army and media.



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December 23, 2010

French citizens told to leave Ivory Coast as UN warns of civil war

French citizens told to leave Ivory Coast as UN warns of civil war

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Map highlighting location of the Ivory Coast.
Image: Vardion.

The French government has urged its citizens to leave the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) as the United Nations (U.N.) warned that the country was heading towards a civil war. According to the U.N., there has been an increase in the use of intimidation methods by elements of the national security forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo.

“The international community must act and act decisively. I emphasize again today what I have said earlier: any attempt to starve the United Nations mission into submission will not be tolerated. Any attack on the United Nations and its staff must be considered an attack on the international community,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement. He added that the techniques of intimidation include “abductions and killings and the propagation of hate speech through the state broadcasting corporation.”

Meanwhile, the French government urged its citizens to leave the country. “We ask those who can, to leave Ivory Coast temporarily until the situation normalises,” said Francois Baroin, a government spokesperson.

On Saturday, Gbagbo ordered the U.N. and French peacekeepers to leave the country saying, “The government demands the departure of the UNOCI and LICORNE [French] forces in Ivory Coast and is opposed to any renewal of their mandate.” Gbagbo claimed victory in the nation’s elections on November 28. Alassane Ouattara won the presidential run-off election on December 3 according to the country’s electoral commission. However, the Constitutional Council has contested the announcement. The French government and the U.N. have also rejected the election results. Gbagbo offered for several entities to investigate the election results, which was rejected by Ouattara who said “we’ve finished with these games.”

“I am … ready to welcome a committee… headed by the African Union, involving ECOWAS, the Arab League, the United Nations, United States, the European Union, Russia and China, which will have permission to analyse objectively the facts of the electoral process …to solve this crisis peacefully,” Gbagbo said in a statement.

The U.N. said it has no plans to leave the country saying, “the president-elect is Ouattara and he hasn’t asked us to leave” and that they intend to “fulfill its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on U.N. peacekeepers.”

Also on Saturday, a U.N. convoy and the mission headquarters in Abidjan was attacked by masked gunmen in military uniforms. According to the mission, a civilian vehicle with six men inside approached the convoy. When the convoy approached the compound’s entrance the gunmen opened fire. No one was injured in the attack. Shots were fired back at the gunmen, but none were hit.



Related news

  • “UN says it won’t leave Ivory Coast” — Wikinews, December 20, 2010
  • “UN convoy attacked by gunman in Ivory Coast as peacekeeping forces ordered to leave country” — Wikinews, December 18, 2010

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December 20, 2010

UN says it won\’t leave Ivory Coast

UN says it won’t leave Ivory Coast – Wikinews, the free news source

UN says it won’t leave Ivory Coast

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The United Nations and French peacekeeping forces say they will not leave the Ivory Coast despite orders from incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo to leave the country.

Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the UN in the Ivory Coast will “fulfill its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on U.N. peacekeepers.” He also called the orders for all peacekeeping troops to leave the nation irrelevant and without effect, adding that the UN does not believe Gbagbo is the legal president.

“The president-elect is Ouattara and he hasn’t asked us to leave,” added the UN.

Saturday, Gbagbo called for all French and UN peacekeeping troops to leave the country. A government spokesperson said Saturday, “the government demands the departure of the UNOCI and LICORNE [French] forces in Ivory Coast and is opposed to any renewal of their mandate. [The] UNOCI has interfered seriously in the internal affairs of Ivory Coast.” The government added it would defend the nation’s sovereignty and that next Friday “the total liberation of Ivory Coast [begins].”



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