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Ivory Coast's Gbagbo On Way to ICC in Hague


Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone, in the custody of forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, April 11, 2011.

Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone, in the custody of forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, April 11, 2011.

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has left his country for The Hague after the International Criminal Court there issued a warrant for his arrest.

Mr. Gbagbo's representatives in Abijan confirmed Tuesday that the former ruler had left the country on a special flight headed for the Netherlands.

The arrest warrant was delivered to the former Ivorian president earlier Tuesday. He had been under house arrest in Korhogo, a remote village in the country's north, after being ousted by international forces seven months ago.

The international court is investigating killings, rapes and other abuses committed during five months of post-election fighting in Ivory Coast. The violence started after Mr. Gbagbo refused to give up power after losing a November 2010 presidential election to opponent Alassane Ouattara.

The international court's top prosecutor launched a probe in October to determine Mr. Gbagbo's possible role in war crimes.

At least 3,000 people were killed during the power struggle that ended with Mr. Gbagbo's arrest in April of this year, and the swearing in of Mr. Ouattara as president.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has said there is evidence that both Ouattara and Gbagbo supporters committed war crimes.

Mr. Ouattara has created a reconciliation panel aimed at unifying Ivory Coast. He has also vowed to hold accountable anyone who committed crimes during the unrest.

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