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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs