Ivory Coast Former President, Laurent Gbagbo

By Celestine Osemeilu,

Former President of Côte d’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo has been cleared of crimes against humanity in Côte d’Ivoire by the International Criminal Court (ICC), it announced on Tuesday.

The development relates to bloody clashes in the West African nation that claimed a reported 3,000 lives following the 2010 election in which current President Alassane Ouattara defeated Mr. Gbagbo.

In June, the Court – which has more than 15 other cases that are either ongoing or yet to commence, including against Mr. Gbagbo’s wife, Simone – overturned the war crimes conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba, former vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In a statement, the ICC said that both Mr. Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé had been acquitted “from all charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 and 2011”, relating to the alleged existence of a “common plan” to keep the former premier in power.

The crimes for which they were being tried included murder, rape and persecution.