News / Africa

    Ivorian President Says Justice Will Be Applied Equally

    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara speaks to reporters during a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 27, 2011
    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara speaks to reporters during a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 27, 2011
    Margaret Besheer

    The president of Ivory Coast said justice will be applied equally to his supporters and those of former President Laurent Gbagbo, who were involved in the country's recent post-election violence. Speaking at a news conference at the United Nations, Alassane Ouattara said his former rival will be tried for some alleged crimes in Ivory Coast and for others, the government will seek help from the International Criminal Court.

    President Ouattara said his top priority is Ivorian reconciliation after the country was torn apart by violence following the disputed presidential election in November.

    He told reporters that there would be no distinctions in the application of justice for his own supporters and for supporters of Gbagbo. Fighters on both sides are accused of contributing to the bloodshed that killed more than 3,000 people.

    “I want to be perfectly clear: that there will be no exception," said Ouattara. "All Ivorians are equal and they should be treated equally. That is why I set up a National Commission of Inquiry last week, and that Inquiry Commission will look at all the events that took place since the elections, especially in the western part of the country where hundreds of people got killed.”

    He said those who have committed crimes will face trial, and if found guilty they will be punished.

    He said Gbagbo and his wife, whose capture in April marked the end of the political crisis, are being held in the presidential palace in the north of the country. He said that under Ivorian law, persons of Gbagbo’s rank must be treated in a dignified manner.

    Asked whether Gbagbo would be tried in Ivory Coast or at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Ouattara said there are two options.

    “The first one is for anything linked to economic crimes, to the attempt to keep power without having being elected, what we say in France, 'tentative de destabilisation', they will be tried in Cote d’Ivoire because we have the means to do it," said Ouattara. "But the judicial system has been completely disrupted, even destroyed, over the past 10 years. For the important crimes, the grave crimes, like crimes against humanity, war crimes, and others, that we have asked the International Criminal Court to help us with those types of crimes.”

    He added that Gbagbo would receive a fair trial.

    During the crisis, Gbagbo was accused of hiring Liberian mercenaries to help him stay in power. Ouattara said he is concerned about the possible lingering threat to security from these individuals, and has agreed with Liberia to exchange information about mercenaries crossing the Ivorian-Liberian border. He said he also is working on a plan for border security.

    Earlier, Ouattara met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The United Nations said they discussed issues related to the strengthening of state institutions, the restoration of the rule of law, human rights, and the fight against impunity and national reconciliation. The secretary-general expressed the hope that the legislative elections would draw broad participation, including opposition parties.

    Ouattara said he hopes the parliamentary elections will go forward in late November or early December. He said it is important to start the new year with all state institutions in place.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora