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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid