Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Article Index

D. Cote d'Ivoire

In 2011, Cte d'Ivoire emerged from a political crisis that had engulfed the country following the disputed presidential election of November 2010 between then-incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo and his opposition, Alassane Ouattara, the UN certified winner of the 2010 elections. A civil war ensued and in January, the United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment of an additional 2000 peacekeepers to the country, supplementing the United Nations Operation in Cte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) personnel already on the ground. In March, the Security Council approved targeted sanctions against Gbagbo and members of his inner circle. On April 11, pro-Ouattara forces entered the presidential compound with support from French troops and UNOCI peacekeepers, taking Gbagbo and his family into custody.

These developments set the stage for a period of national reconciliation, economic recovery, and reestablishment of the rule of law. On May 1, President-elect Ouattara announced the establishment of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Prosecutor of the ICC was requested to conduct investigations to bring those bearing the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes to justice. On November 29, Laurent Koudou Gbagbo was surrendered to the ICC by the national authorities of Cte d'Ivoire following a warrant of arrest issued under seal by the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber III on November 23, 2011.

In June, an international commission of inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council confirmed that serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law had taken place. The report estimated that there had been over 3,000 killings, many of which were attributed to pro-Ouattara forces. Also in June, the Ouattara government announced the findings of an initial inquiry into allegations of corruption and the theft of State assets by the former Gbagbo government and indicated that the investigation may take another two years.

In July, the Ouattara government issued international arrest warrants for several former Gbagbo aides, and several other members of the Gbagbo government already in detention were charged with inciting tribalism and xenophobia. Later that month, President Ouattara signed a decree establishing another commission of inquiry into crimes committed during the post-election conflict, giving that commission six months to report its initial findings.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law