Laurent Gbagbo

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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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11 March 2011 by Bram Posthumus

There may be a future inquiry by the International Criminal Court into human rights crimes during Côte d’Ivoire’s post-electoral crisis. But that has no impact on the current situation in the country. 

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25 May 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt & Richard Walker

While all eyes are on Gaddafi, the International Criminal Court monitors 15 countries around the globe. She is working on 6 ‘situations’ and a dozen cases. But in the meantime, Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda also monitors crimes in West Africa. 

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27 April 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

How salubrious and healing are Truth and Reconciliation Commissions? This question rears its head again in Ivory Coast. The country’s new president hopes such a commission would restore the calm needed for a future of peace. At the same time, it could offer Ouattara the possibility of not having to appear in court. 

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22 June 2011 by Bram Posthumus in Amsterdam and Selay Marius Kouassi in Abidjan

In Ivory Coast, the gap between rhetoric and reality is growing dangerously large. On paper, all seems to be heading in the right direction. There is a Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission in place. Early June, the new government of president Alassane Ouattara declares it wants an end to impunity and justice for all. 

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26 October 2011 by Robert Carmichael

The elderly defendants deny charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. They stand accused of responsibility for the deaths of up to 2.2 million people during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-79 rule. Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen explained the significance of Case 002, as it is known in court parlance.

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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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25 May 2011 by Bram Posthumus

President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast says he wants national dialogue and reconciliation and an end to impunity. Noble intentions - but his country may have more pressing issues to deal with, plus the fact that not everyone is prepared to reconcile.

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