ICC begins Ivory Coast war crimes investigation

Alassane Ouattara has invited the ICC to investigate post-election violence in Ivory Coast.

Story highlights

  • ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo arrived in Ivory Coast
  • He will meet both with the government and opposition
  • He is investigating post-election violence
The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, arrived in Ivory Coast Saturday to meet with government and opposition leaders as he begins an inquiry into the west African nation's post-election violence.
In his application to the judges for authorization to investigate possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, Moreno-Ocampo cited sources who said at least 3,000 people were killed, 72 people disappeared and 520 others were subject to arbitrary arrest and detentions since the November 28 election that resulted in dispute.
The prosecutor presented his application and June and this month received permission to open an investigation.
Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power even though challenger Alassane Ouattara was recognized as the winner. Months of bloodshed ensued, the political stalemate settled by Gbagbo's capture in April.
"I am grateful to President Ouattara for extending the invitation for me to conduct an official visit to Côte d'Ivoire," Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement. "We will also meet members of the opposition. We will meet with victims, and listen to their views and concerns."
Moreno-Ocampo said that his office is also monitoring developments in neighboring countries that could affect the stability of the west Africa region, including the elections in Liberia.
"We will pay close attention to the actions and statements of the political class, and in particular to the presidential candidates, including after the elections. Resorting to violence will not be tolerated," he said.