Arusha — The International Criminal Court (ICC) has unsealed an arrest warrant for Charles Blé Goudé, who was close to former Ivorian president and ICC detainee Laurent Gbagbo, Hirondelle learned on Tuesday.
The warrant against Blé Goudé was issued on December 21, 2011, but kept under seal. Simone Gbagbo, the wife of the former president, is also under an ICC arrest warrant, but her husband is currently the only one in the hands of the Court.
Blé Goudé, 40, allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts). These crimes were allegedly committed during post-election violence in Côte d'Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011.
The pre-trial chamber found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that following the presidential elections, pro-Gbagbo forces attacked the civilian population in Abidjan and the west of the country, from November 28, 2010 onwards. According to the chamber, they targeted civilians that they believed to be supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who is now president of Côte d'Ivoire.
As a member of Gbagbo's inner circle, Blé Goudé allegedly exercised joint control over the crimes, and made a coordinated and essential contribution to the realization of the plan. He allegedly had the power to control and give instructions directly to the youth who were systematically recruited, armed, trained and integrated into the chain of command of the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces to commit these crimes.
The ICC has not yet issued any arrest warrants against pro-Ouattara supporters, although Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has reiterated that the court is impartial. ER/JC