Voice of America (Washington, DC)

22 March 2014

Cote d'Ivoire: Ivory Coast Transfers Gbabgo Ally to ICC

Ivory Coast is transferring the head of a former youth group linked to deadly violence following the 2010 election to the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

The ICC said Saturday that Ivorian authorities had surrendered Charles Ble Goude to the court in The Hague. He was arrested in Ghana and extradited to the Ivory Coast.

Ble Goude was the leader of the Young Patriots, a group that backed former President Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo refused to cede office after he lost the 2010 presidential runoff to President Alassane Ouattara.

More than 3,000 people were killed in post-election violence. During the unrest, the Young Patriots were notorious for targeting Ouattara supporters at roadblocks set up in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

Gbagbo is already in detention at The Hague, where he is awaiting trial.

In announcing Saturday's transfer of Ble Goude, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said authorities were a step closer in helping to unveil the "full truth" of one of the Ivory Coast's "worst episodes of mass violence in recent history."

Ble Goude also faces charges related to violent crimes and economic crimes in the Ivory Coast.

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