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Ouattara insists Gbagbo must face war crimes trial

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-05-23

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 Sunday, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara insisted that his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, must be tried for crimes committed during the deadly standoff that followed last year's disputed election.

The day after Alassane Outtara was officially inaugurated as president of Ivory Coast, FRANCE 24 met the country’s new leader at the presidential residence in Yamoussoukro. Outtara told FRANCE 24 that former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was prised from power months after he was defeated in a presidential election last year, must be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Justice must be rendered,” he told our special correspondent, François Picard. “Impunity must be ended in Ivory Coast. Especially for war crimes; crimes against humanity. These are very serious matters. Other heads of states [have been investigated by] the International Criminal Court. So why not Mr Gbagbo? Our objective is that he goes to the International Criminal Court.”
 
ICC has raised concerns about massacre

Nearly 3,000 people died in the violence that followed the disputed poll, according to the new government. Tens of thousands more fled Ivory Coast for neighbouring countries. The ICC has previously stated that it is specifically concerned about reported massacres in the west of Ivory Coast.

When asked about the civilians who took up arms to support Ouattara during the long and bloody battle against Gbagbo loyalists, Ouattara said “we have them under control, we train them. Some of them have been recruited to become part of the police. (…) We are going to clean up this process [within the next] few weeks. I’m confident that we’ll be able to do this.”
 
Ouattara says that during the months he was confined to a “tiny hotel room” in Abidjan, the thing he missed the most was his office in Deux-Plateaux, “where I used to go every morning to work with my staff”. Despite the conditions however, he was relieved not to have been imprisoned.

Date created : 2011-05-22

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