Monday, December 05, 2011

Gbagbo at the ICC

Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Cote d'Ivoire, appeared before the International Criminal Court today.  Although former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and former Liberian president Charles Taylor was tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (both in The Hague), Gbagbo is the first former president to face trial at the ICC.

Gbagbo became president of the former French colony in 2000.  He was defeated by Alassane Outtara in the 2010 presidential election, but challenged the results and refused to cede power.  Violence ensued and supporters of both Gbagbo and Ouattara are alleged to have committed serious human rights violations in the struggle for power that followed the election.  Ultimately, Ouattara's supporters, with help from French and UN military forces, succeeded in ousting Gbagbo from power.  Gbagbo was placed under house arrest until his rendition to the ICC by the Ouattara government.

The ICC investigation into post-election violence in Cote d'Ivoire was initiated by President Ouattara in December 2010.  Gbagbo has been indicted on four counts of crimes against humanity, most related to incitement of his supporters to violence.

(The website of the Boston Globe,, has a great photo essay here on the election and part of its aftermath.)