News / Africa

Ivory Coast Opposition to International Court: Release Gbagbo

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo attends a confirmation of charges hearing in his pre-trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 19, 2013.
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo attends a confirmation of charges hearing in his pre-trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 19, 2013.
Peter Clottey
Ivory Coast’s opposition Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) has demanded the immediate release of former President Laurent Gbagbo from the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to Boubakar Kone, administrator and organizer of the party.

The former Ivorian leader has been held in custody at the Hague-based court for nearly two years. The ICC is gathering evidence against Mr. Gbagbo for his role in a civil war that followed his refusal to accept the October 2010 presidential vote.

“You cannot investigate your whole life. How much time do they need to investigate? There are other cases to investigate. He’s been there almost two years now. [That] should be enough to investigate this case,” said Kone.

He said it is illegal for the ICC to continue holding Gbagbo.

“In the last two meetings of the party’s Central Committee, a resolution [was drafted saying] since the charges against [former] president Gbagbo are insufficient, he should be immediately released. That is an official demand from the party,” said Kone.

But, critics say Gbagbo should be held accountable for the lives lost during the post-election conflict that arose when he failed to accept electoral defeat.

Kone said the country needs the former president to help promote national reconciliation.

“[They were] unable to prove that all the damage [was] due to president Gbagbo. President Gbagbo still feels that he won the election,[but] he was overthrown by a coup d’état; given that; he cannot be [held] responsible for all the damage,” said Kone. “Investigations were carried, out and the results were that he was not guilty…and the only thing for them to do is to release him. We believe it is as simple as that.”

Some analysts say Gbagbo’s release from the ICC and his subsequent trip to Ivory Coast could reignite tensions and destabilize the country, which is gradually recovering from the 2010 post-election conflict. Kone disagreed.

“All the people of Cote d’Ivoire are demanding that he come to reconcile the people of this country.  [It] …is impatient to see president Gbagbo back,” said Kone. “If his absence was something that could bring progress, reconciliation would have already been [done]. Those who are arguing that his return will bring confusion are exactly those who accused him wrongly, and they are afraid.”

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

Kone said the allegations against Gbagbo as well as the refusal of the ICC to release him in spite of what he says is insufficient evidence shows that the charges are politically motivated.

“The [ICC] is saying that there is no sufficient evidence that he is a criminal so why should he be kept? And that is why our party is demanding that he should be released immediately,” continued Kone. “Now if political factors are taken into account, then it is something different and we can negotiate.”
Clottey interview with Boubakar Kone, Ivorian Popular Front (FPI)
Clottey interview with Boubakar Kone, Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid