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ICC to Investigate Alleged Crimes in Ivory Coast’s Conflict

Fatou Bensouda (C) Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, speaks in Abidjan after her meeting with Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara, June 28, 2011 (file photo)

A spokesman for the International Criminal Court (ICC)says the court’s chief prosecutor will soon begin an investigation into alleged human rights abuses committed during the conflict in Ivory Coast.

Fadi El Abdallah says the inquiry will focus on gathering evidence of the abuses committed by both parties during the conflict.

His comments came after ICC judges accepted Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request to begin the investigations.

“Next is the investigation to be conducted by the ICC prosecutor in the events that occurred since 28th November 2010, up to now and potentially, if there is more violent action that takes place in the future in Ivory Coast,” said Abdallah. “The prosecutor will gather the evidence and decide who he suspects to be responsible for potential war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Abdallah also says the prosecutor could ask the judges to issue an arrest warrant or summon the alleged perpetrators based on the gathered evidence.

Human right groups have accused both supporters of both President Alassane Ouattara and former president Laurent Gbagbo of human right violations during the conflict.

Abdallah said the ICC inquiry will be comprehensive.

“The prosecutor will have to conduct the investigation [into] these allegations concerning both parties in a total independent and impartial manner,” he said.

He added that the investigation will be conducted in collaboration with the government, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

“If there is good cooperation, the investigation can be quick if not it will take a little bit more of time. It depends very much on the cooperation with the prosecution,” said Abdallah.