Fifteen associates of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile] were charged on Sunday with crimes allegedly committed as a result of the country's post-election violence [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that has been ongoing since last November. The 15 were charged [AFP report] with economic crimes, harming the authority and sovereignty of the state and setting up armed gangs. Former prime minister Gilbert Ake N'Gbo, former foreign minister Alcide Djedje and former governor of the Central Bank of West African States Philippe-Henri Dacoury-Tabley were among those charged. After Gbagbo was captured and arrested [JURIST report] on April 11, the 15 were placed under house arrest at a hotel in Abidjan and will eventually be transferred to a prison.
International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] officially requested permission [JURIST report] from ICC judges last week to begin an investigation into the Ivory Coast after determining that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the post-election violence. The Ivory Coast announced earlier this month it would establish its own commission [JURIST report] to investigate alleged crimes committed as a result of the disputed presidential elections. This investigation may take up to two years [Reuters report]. Also, an official for the UN's International Commission of Inquiry called for an investigation [JURIST report] into current Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile] and his forces' continuing attacks against supporters of Gbagbo earlier this month. In April, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] urged Ouattara to conduct an investigation [JURIST report] into alleged atrocities carried out by his forces in its attempts to secure the presidency. According to the report, the pro-Ouattara forces, known as the Republican Forces of the Ivory Coast, killed more than 100 civilians, raped at least 20 supporters of Gbagbo and burned at least 10 villages in March. Also in April, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] reported the deaths of at least 800 civilians [JURIST report] in the Ivory Coast town of Duekoue as a result of intercommunal violence.