News / Africa

International Court Urged to Administer Equal Justice in Ivory Coast

ICC / Ivory Coast
ICC / Ivory Coast
Peter Clottey
A former high-ranking UN investigator says the International Criminal Court (ICC) must look into – and prosecute – all human rights violations committed during Ivory Coast’s civil war – or lose its credibility.

Alan White, the former chief of investigations for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, said the ICC’s work must include those groups which fought against the previous government.

The ICC is gathering evidence to prosecute former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo for his role in a civil war that followed his refusal to accept the October 2010 presidential vote.

“I hope for the credibility of the ICC that they ensure that there is balanced prosecution,” said White.

White expressed hope that ICC’s new deputy prosecutor James Stewart would review the atrocities committed in Ivory Coast.                                                          

“From every indication that I get, he will certainly be supportive in working very closely with the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. He certainly realizes, as she does, that there is an issue of perception of balanced prosecution,” said White. “I told the prosecutor’s office that from firsthand experience, there would be no retributive justice [and] reconciliation in Ivory Coast unless all parties are brought to justice.”

Human rights groups accused supporters of both Gbagbo and current President Alassane Ouattara of human rights violations during the conflict.

His comments came after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Charles Ble Goude, a former minister of Youth and Sports under former President Laurent Gbagbo’s administration.

Ble Goude was the leader of a militia loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo called the Young Patriots. The youth group is accused of coordinating attacks against critics of Gbagbo’s former government. Over 3,000 people were killed during the 2010-post election violence. The Hague-based court accuses Ble Goude of coordinating attacks against civilians believed to oppose then-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo.

The court says Ble Goude, who led Gbagbo’s Young Patriots movement, had the power to control militias that attacked specific ethnic or religious communities in Abidjan and in western Ivory Coast. He is also accused of helping recruit and arm thousands of volunteers for the militias, which operated in concert with the army.

The ICC is gathering evidence to prosecute former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo,  though his supporters criticize the court for only targeting close allies.  White said the lack of prosecution of forces supporting President Alassane Ouattara could hinder the country’s reconciliation effort.

“Now that there have been three people identified where arrest warrants were issued by the ICC, it really is enhancing and creating tensions in the country, when it looks like perceptually, they are going after one side,” said White. “Everybody knows not only in Ivory Coast but in the Manor River Union Region that [parliament speaker] Guillaume Soro is certainly responsible directly; he aided and abetted the atrocities that were committed from 2002 up till last year.”

He encouraged the ICC to request a United Nations report detailing evidence of atrocities committed during the post-election violence.

Supporters of Mr. Gbagbo have also criticized the U.N. Security Council for failing to recommend the prosecution of pro-Ouattara supporters to the ICC for prosecution. White urged the pro-Gbagbo supporters to put political pressure on the authorities in Ivory Coast to ensure balance.

“They need to rise up officially and publically and make their voice heard to their elected officials. There are members of parliament that they need to demand that action be taken,” said White.
Clottey interview with Dr. Alan White
Clottey interview with Dr. Alan Whitei
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Comment Sorting
by: Kossougo from: San Francisco
October 19, 2013 4:58 PM
Mr Franklin you suffer from the house Negro syndrome.always trying to be validated by westerners. First and foremost you should not take everything Obama says for gospel truth . Your ad hominen statements are blatant lies and you know it. I am not paid to voice my opinion like you. Gbagbo staged an attack against his own country killed his own people including his close allies boga doudou and innocent victims like marcellin yace you are a ridiculous revisionist and you know it . Shame on you

by: Franklin Nyamsi from: France
October 18, 2013 10:11 AM
Dear readers,
As well as nobody can judge the soldiers who defeated the Hitler's nazi troops, so is the situation of the soldiers who defeated the former ivoirian dictator's troops. Gbagbo is the only, main and evident responsible of the last ivoirian tragedy. Those who ignore that are just taking justice as a joke. They are kidding!
In Response

by: Boivard from: Abidjan
October 22, 2013 4:01 AM
Honest minds do not see similarities between Gbagbo and Hitler. Some exist with Sadam Hussein. Rephrasing I question: Will it cross the mind of ICC to prosecute Bush.
In Response

by: Franklin Nyamsi from: France
October 19, 2013 9:45 AM
Mister or Madam Kossougo,
You're just a human scandal. Even President Obama knows who brought tragedy in Côte d'Ivoire: Laurent Gbagbo your half-God has never been elected as president of that country. He took power with blood and he loosed it samely. Guillaume Soro is a hero. Gbagbo is just a big zero.
In Response

by: kossougo from: san francisco
October 18, 2013 1:02 PM
Mr Franklin don't be ridiculous. Either you don't know Hitler or you are the king of the hyperbole, Everybody knows on the internet that you are a staunch backer of Soro Guillaume. You are certainly among that minority of African that can claim that Gbagbo is a dictator.Stop acting like a fool. and be reasonable.

by: AFRICAN GLORY from: Somewhere in Africa
October 18, 2013 3:56 AM
Towards what has happened in Ivory Coast after the defeat of Gbagbo Laurent to the presidential elections in 2010, mister Alan White should know that it's the looser mister Gbagbo Laurent and his party members who refuse the people's choice by killing civilians and opposition's members to just stay in power. The UN, AU, EU, USA etc and others international NGO are witnessed of Gbagbo crimes against his own people. What should any real responsible authority do to save his country and his people? Knowing that when things are going wrong and bad in your country as an high authority if you don't take your responsabilities to correct and rectify things in order to bring peace and stability, any justification will exonerate, clear and clean you to history court, Guillaume Soro as prime minister at that moment, took his responsabilities with the OK of UN, UA, EU, ECOWAS, FRANCE and many others international NGO with the Ivory Coast Republican Forces to stop bloodshed of Gbagbo Laurent troops, milicians and mercenaries against civilians.

Dear mister Alan White, let us remind you that when the allies forces fought Hitler and Germans troops in world war 1 & 2, after the defeat of Hitler and his Nazi's members and troops, at Nuremberg were judged and executed Hitler's troops and Nazi's members not the allies troops or authorities because they did who should be done to fight and stop dictatorship and bring peace in Europe and in the world. When French or American forces fight terrorists wherever in the world in order to bring peace and stability, are judged those terrorists or ennemies of peace not French or American forces who did their job to always fight for peace no matter what. So, you should also know that the fighting of Guillaume Soro and our brave republican forces was lawful, well-founded, rightful and legitimate fight in order to bring peace, stability and to restore the Sovereignty in Ivory Coast. We are sure that those who will read you, will clap you not for what you said but for the non-serious and immaturity of someone like you, whom is an hight ranking member of UN special court. We pleased you to be more serious, more realistic and more objective and impartial than that.

by: Kossougo from: San francisco
October 18, 2013 3:55 AM

guiillaume soro is far from being a freedom fighter , he is nothing but a vile and ruthless warlord financially backed by ouattara to topple the legal authorities in ivory coast. All those revisionists who are trying to alter the recent history of ivory coast are simply dishonest. Ivorian in their majority are aware of the fact that Guillaume soro is a criminal that has to be tried by the icc for fairness.
In Response

by: Franklin Nyamsi from: France
October 18, 2013 10:53 AM
You are just speaking like petainist people spoke about Pétain and against De Gaulle. You're just trying to defend the nazi leader Gbagbo against those who defeated him properly. Guillaume Soro is the one of the most important leaders of ivorian emancipation and dignity. He is proud and fair. And he saved Gbagbo's life, when Gbagbo killed a former Head of State and his wife for nothing! Think before you write!
In Response

by: AFRICAN GLORY from: Somewhere in Africa
October 18, 2013 10:12 AM
Mister Kossougo, "when tyranny becomes a law in a country, revolution is a right". Under the reign of the dictator Gbagbo Laurent there wasn't democracy at all, and no one can honesty deny that. Have you forgotten the way that mister Gbagbo came to power in October 2000, after killing opposition's members and supporters in the streets of Abidjan? If yes, ask history about the " charnier de Yopougon" where has been founded more than 57 dead bodies opposition's membres who went to the street and to protest and ask for the reoganisation of October 2000 presidential election.

Have you also forgotten numerous false coups that Gbagbo Laurent organised in order to kill and arrest his opponents and somes civilians? Have you forgotten the killing of Gbagbo Laurent troops and milicians when oppositions members ask the people to protest when was excluded the leader of the RDR Alassane Ouattara to the parliamentry election in 2001? You should know that Guillaume SORO couldn't stay and watch all this dictatorship, all these killings of the unlegtimate president Gbagbo Laurent continue without taking action to stop it. Dear Kossougo, it's non normal and it's ridiculous to call: destroyer of nature, the one who stops a dangerous snake to always bite.

by: AFRICAN GLORY from: Somewhere in Africa
October 17, 2013 1:27 PM
While talking about what happens In 2002 by making false and unverified accusations based on rumours against Guillaume Soro, without making serious investigations, mister Alan White is showing us that there is nothing serious in his investigation. Coz before accusing Guillaume soro about 2002, mister White should ask himself about what happened from 2000 to 2002? There wasn't democracy under the dictatorship of Gbagbo and FPI people who promoted hatred, tribalism among Ivorians. Gbagbo used all his power to kill civilians and opposition's members just to keep his unlegitime power. In such situation no one who fight for democracy could stay and watch this calamity. That's why the freedom fighter Guillaume Soro and the members off MPCI started the Ivorian revolution also known as Ivorian rebellion 19th September 2002, to fight the dictatorship of Gbagbo. They never killed civilians in there any of there actions but they always protect civilians while Gbagbo sent his troops, milicians and mercenaries to kill either MPCI members either civilians. The freedom fighter Guillaume Soro since his childhood, fight for justice, equality, peace and democracy. Mister White should make sure that all Ivorians will stand as one to defend their freedom fighter against all accusations.
In Response

by: kossougo from: San Francisco
October 18, 2013 12:45 PM
Franklin Nyamsi and African shame. Your nefarious and far fetched lies won't change the reality. Guillaume Soro this pawn, this opportunist, is nothing but a ruthless warlord. You guys are trying to justify an ethnocentric rebellion and turn a good for nothing into an imaginary freedom fighter. Once again you guys are spreading the same propaganda made up by the RDR (ethnocentric religious party)to make your point. You remind me of Bensouda with her baseless allegations against Gbagbo. IBesides I cannot believe that you guys are blatantly lying about civilian not being killed by Soro Guillaume . What about Marcellin Yace ,Boga doudou etc and thousand of innocent victims of Soro barbary. Shame on you guys for being such shameless revisionists
In Response

by: Kossougo from: San francisco
October 18, 2013 4:05 AM
Allegations against Guillaume soro are not rumors. The crimes of the Mpci the organization he was leading are well documented by many credible human right organizations, sorry your dubious claims won't erase his war crimes Guillaume soro can run but he cannot hide . His crimes will catch up with him one way or the other.

by: Simon Trueman
October 17, 2013 12:13 PM
Alan the ICC has already lost its credibility long ago in Africa by not taking the necessary action. You dont have to do much research into this, but whether the ICC has the will is another matter. Demanding action by the people is tantamount to "signing their death warrant" Both you and many people know this and clear examples of their fate is well documented.
In Response

by: Daniel Ozoukou from: US
October 19, 2013 3:00 PM
Recently I published an article entitled WHO WILL PUNISH Guillaume SORO?
In this regards, I total agree with Dr Alan White for Guillaume Soro prosecution. In fact, Soro committed war crime, violated Human rights and economic crime. Under his leadership thousands civilians have been killed and massacred during his 10 years of armed struggle. Please read the Ivoirian political Analyst Daniel Ozoukou's article on the same issue. Côte d'Ivoire: Qui va Punir Guillaume Soro?
In Response

by: Alex from: USA
October 19, 2013 2:26 AM
I don't think any real Ivorian will say those thing some stupid people, that Watara, brought form Mali, and Blkonafaso to mess up Côte d'Ivoire, who are not real Ivorian are saying about Gbagbo. Only an African fool will call Gbagba, a dictator. Gbagbo is an advocate,not a dictator, which the western don't like. The west love Watara, because they knew he was going to be a yes Sir president to them. Gbagbo, will ask; why? How? And what will my people benefit from that? Everybody knows that if you are a leader like Gbagbo, who ask questions, loves his people and care for his country benefiting, but not western interest, you are number target/ enemy for de west.

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