News / Africa

Ivory Coast Opposition Condemns Member’s ICC Arrest Warrant

Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 20
Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 20
Peter Clottey
A leading member of Ivory Coast opposition says the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant for Charles Ble Goude will undermine any attempt to stabilize the country. 

Ble Goude was the leader of a militia loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo called the Young Patriots. The court is trying the former president for alleged crimes against humanity in the post-election violence three years ago.  The youth group is accused of coordinating attacks against critics of Gbagbo’s former government.

Kone Katinan, a former minister in charge of budget and spokesman of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, said the warrant is proof of the ICC’s bias against the opposition.

 “This warrant is the last evidence that we cannot trust this court, it is also evidence that the court cannot be an impartial court,” said Katinan. “How do you think that after the political crisis in our country, only Gbagbo’s people are under pressure like this? And for those who are on [President Alassane] Ouattara side, we don’t see anything about them.”

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.

But, Katinan rejected the accusation as unfounded.

“We never [saw] Ble Goude with any weapons, so we cannot agree with the prosecutor that [he] armed people to fight. Ble Goude was the leader of the Young Patriots who were fighting for the freedom of the country. They didn’t use any arms,” said Katinan. “So how can you put one side under pressure but the other side, it’s OK as if they didn’t do anything? This is not serious, and we cannot agree with that.”

Katinan accused the court of persecuting close allies of former President Gbagbo, and said the ICC cannot be trusted to administer impartial justice.

“I am sad because we discovered that this court cannot bring justice in this world,” said Katinan. “For us, this is just a political case because we are pro-Gbagbo people who have been close with president Gbagbo.  All those [supporters] are without rights, so they can do anything they want against us.”

Katinan contends that it is not a crime to organize the political wing of Gbagbo’s former ruling party.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accused former president Laurent Gbagbo of crimes against humanity in the country's 2010-11 post-election conflict.

But, Katinan questioned the court’s justification in detaining the former leader for at least two years without any trial.

“How can you explain that President Gbagbo in jail [at the ICC]?  They didn’t get any evidence to charge him, they remanded him and they didn’t finish his trial, [yet] they need somebody else to come there? How can you explain this behavior about this court?” asked Katinan.
Clottey interview with Kone Katinan, Laurent Gbagbo's former spokesman
Clottey interview with Kone Katinan, Laurent Gbagbo's former spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs