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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid