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ICC Prosecutor requests judges for authorization to open an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has requested ICC judges for authorization to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire since 28 November 2010. If the Judges grant the authorization, the Office of the Prosecutor will open an independent and impartial investigation into the crimes committed there.

According to the sources quoted by the Prosecution in its application, at least 3000 persons were killed, 72 persons disappeared and 520 persons were subject to arbitrary arrest and detentions in Côte d’Ivoire during the post election violence. There are also over 100 reported cases of rape, while the number of unreported incidents is believed to be considerably higher.

The reports quoted by the Prosecution provide reasonable basis to believe that pro-Gbagbo forces and pro-Ouattara forces committed crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The identification of the persons who bear the greatest criminal responsibility for ordering or facilitating the most serious of these crimes is the main objective of the envisaged investigation.

This is the first time the ICC may open a case in a State not Party to the Rome Statute, which has however accepted the jurisdiction of the Court. So far, all ICC cases related to crimes committed on the territory of State Parties to the Rome Statute, or otherwise were subsequent to referral from the Security Council.

President Ouattara sent a letter urging the Prosecution to open the investigation and he is working closely with the regional organization ECOWAS to make sure that crimes do not go unpunished in Côte d’Ivoire. This shows not only the continent’s commitment to fighting impunity but also African leadership in steering the course of international justice. If authorized, Côte d’Ivoire will be the 7th investigation in Africa. The Prosecution will continue contributing to Africa’s efforts to end impunity for these crimes and prevent their repetition. “We are working with African leaders to protect African victims”, Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo stated.

The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Request for authorisation of an investigation pursuant to article 15

For more information:

Florence Olara
OTP Public Information Officer
+31 70 515 8723 (office)
+31 65 029 4476 (cell)

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, The Netherlands / Post Office Box 19519, 2500 CM The Hague, The Netherlands
Tel. : +31 70 515 85 15 • Fax : +31 70 515 85 55 •