Ivory Coast

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Former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo at the opening of his ICC trial in January 2016 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
05 July 2016 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Twelve witnesses over the past five months: the ICC’s case against former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo and his supporter Charles Blé Goudé is not getting up to speed. Already, it is lost in discussions on history, suffers from a lack of evidence tying him directly to the crimes and has slowly moved into closed-door hearings.

When the International Criminal Court’s new building [IJT-189] was officially inaugurated by the Dutch King last April, the celebratory ceremony ended with a performance of children singing Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World”. Three months earlier, there was a totally different atmosphere. On 28 January 2016, you could hear the swelling hymns of the crowd: “Libérez Gbagbo! Libérez Gbagbo! Libérez Gbagbo! (Free Gbagbo)” they chanted. Outside the guarded entrance, armed with megaphones, drums and banners, Ivoirians from the diaspora community in Europe had assembled to demand the release of the man they still consider to be their President: Laurent Gbagbo. Inside, while the court clerk read out the charges, some of the spectators sizzled, others burst out in sardonic laughter. They rejoiced in faith and uttered praises when Gbagbo and his companion in the dock, alleged mouthpiece, spin-doctor and ‘street general,’ Charles Blé Goudé, plead not guilty.

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Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbabgo at his confirmation of charges hearing at the ICC in February 2013 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
27 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

As the International Criminal Court (ICC) prepares to try its first former head of state when Ivory Coast's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo goes on trial in The Hague Thursday many question if the ICC is balanced in trying only the leadership of one side in the post-electoral violence.
 

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First ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo at March 2011 press conference on situation in Libya, as successor Fatou Bensouda looks on (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 June 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Recent cases at the International Criminal Court have revitalized the on-going discussion about when the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) should step in to demand that suspects be brought to The Hague and when it should let countries handle their own prosecutions.

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Victims' widows and survivors thank lawyers after a court's March 2015 sentence against Habré's agents (Photo: Twitter/@HenriThulliez)
17 June 2015

In IJT 184, veteran war crimes tribunal journalist and former IJT editor Thierry Cruvellier analyzes the significance of Chadian ex-dictator Hissène Habré's upcoming trial at the Extraordinary African Chambers.

Other features:

  • There's a new start date for the retrial of former Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt
  • Scholars say it's time for a crimes against humanity convention
  • Complementarity remains a guessing game at the International Criminal Court

News brief:

Sudan's President Bashir gets away again but who looks worse: the ICC or South Africa?

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Exhumations from May 2015 on a Periprava site believed to be a graveyard for camp victims (Photo: IICCMER)
03 June 2015

IJT 183 delves into an emotional trial in Romania in which Communist labour camp survivors confront their ex-commander.

Other features:

  • The first-ever ICTR trial transfer could be recalled from Rwanda
  • A new museum at a former detention centre reignites Argentina's debate on memorials
  • The world wrongly gambled on peace without justice in Burundi, says transitional justice expert in a Q&A

News brief:

  • Ivorian ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo is still wanted in The Hague
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International Criminal Court in The Hague (Photo: Flickr/josefstuefer).jpg
03 June 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The custody battle between Ivory Coast and the International Criminal Court over Simone Gbagbo continues as the ICC upheld its ruling for the Ivorian ex-first lady to be tried internationally despite national proceedings that already slapped her with a two-decade jail sentence.

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Niamba Privat shares images taken after a May 2011 attack at his Yopougon home during post-election violence in Ivory Coast (Photo: Christin Roby)
04 May 2015 by Christin Roby, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

Wounds, physical and psychological, heal slowly for many victims of the 2011 post-election crisis in Ivory Coast that killed over 3,000 residents and ended with former President Laurent Gbagbo’s ouster by Alassane Ouattara.

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Al Jadeed journalist Karma Khayat flanked by defence lawyers at the opening hearing of her contempt trial (Photo: Flickr/STLebanon)
04 May 2015

IJT 181 examines what two contempt cases at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon show about the main in absentia trial seeking to uncover who killed Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri.

Other features:

  • Will Kenya’s restorative justice fund sideline truth commission findings?
  • Will new reparations body in Ivory Coast fulfill promise? 
  • Hopeful to move forward, Bosnian millennials try to unearth war skeletons

News briefs:

  • Netherlands court backs decision not to prosecute Dutchbat soldiers over Srebrenica deaths
  • ​Controversial Libyan Senussi trial to enter final phase
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05 November 2011 by Selay Marius Kouassi

A situation without precedent in a country that seems to have returned to normal. But where hate and anger have yet to disappear completely. Healing the wounds after post-electoral violence in 2010/2011 is the new mandate of the Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation (CDVR). Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is conducting its investigations in the same country.

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Urban life in Ivory Coast (Photo: Flickr/Guillaume Mignot)
23 March 2015 by Christin Roby, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

The 20-year prison sentence handed to former Ivorian first lady Simone Gbagbo in Abidjan’s case against her and 82 others for undermining state security is being met with intense scrutiny. Though a victory to some, many Ivorians are unsatisfied.

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