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ICC orders former Ivory Coast presidential ally to stand trial for crimes against humanity

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday confirmed [press release] four charges of crimes against humanity [Human Rights Watch report] against Charles Ble Goude, and committed the ally of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to trial at The Hague. Ble Goude is accused of working with former Ivory Coast President Gbagbo [JURIST report] to orchestrate a wave of post-election violence between December 2010 and April 2011. Both Goude and Gbagbo are in ICC custody, and the prosecutor's office will seek to join Gbagbo's trial with Goude's. The charges were a result of a five-month post-election crisis in which Gbagbo refused to step down after internationally recognized results of the November 2010 election proclaimed the current president, Alassane Ouattra, the winner. At least 3,000 people were killed and 150 women raped during the crisis. Much of the violence was carried out along ethnic, political and religious lines. Goude is allegedly responsible for murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence and other inhuman acts.

The ICC also issued a statement on Thursday demanding the Ivory Coast to hand over Simone Gbagbo [JURIST report], the wife of Laurent Gbagbo and former first lady, for crimes against humanity. This came after ICC judges found that domestic authorities were not taking reasonable steps towards finding whether Simone Gbagbo is criminally responsible for the alleged conduct. The ICC and Ivorian authorities have not pursued anyone who fought for Ouattra during the crisis, despite findings that both sides committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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