As Gbagbo faces ICC, Ouattara says Ivorians compelled to reconcile
Former Ivorian President Laurent is due to make his first appearance before the International Criminal Court, ICC in The Hague today, Monday to answer charges of crimes against humanity, but current President Alassane Ouattara has no regrets for handing him over.
The former Ivorian President was hurriedly flown out of the Ivory Coast last Wednesday and placed in the ICC cell in the Hague, after being served an arrest warrant as “indirect co-perpetrator”.
Gbagbo, who is the first former African head of state to be arrested by the ICC, is charged with four counts of crimes against humanity including murder and rape during the post election violence in the Ivory Coast.
The former Ivorian leader was ousted from power last April, by the New Forces rebels supporting current President Ouattara, with the backing of French troops after months of fighting. That followed his refusal to give up power, though the independent electoral commission had declared Ouattara winner.
At that time, the Constitutional Council had instead overturned the results, declaring Gbagbo winner.
But when the fighting ended, the Constitutional Council chief later somersaulted saying, Ouattara was the rightful winner of last November’s polls.
Despite criticisms from various quarters in the Ivory Coast over his handing over of former President Gbabo to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, President Ouattara maintains that that was the right thing to do.
Speaking recently on a visit to Guinea, the Ivorian leader said the blood of the thousands of people killed in the post election violence must not go in vain.
To members of Gbagbo’s camp, who have decided to pull out of the reconciliation process, President Ouattara said the people of Ivory Coast have no other choice but to reconcile and live together.
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