Ocampo now turns his guns on Ivory Coast

December 16, 2010 12:00 am

, PARIS , Dec 16 – The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor said on Thursday he would prosecute those responsible if deadly violence breaks out in Ivory Coast after its disputed election.

"If they start to kill people then it’s a crime and we will pursue them," prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said. "No-one can commit crime in Ivory Coast because of elections."

"The reality is that some people in Ivory Coast are planning attacks and we know that. And I want to tell them clearly, if you do that… you will be prosecuted. That’s a clear message," he told France 24 news channel.

On Wednesday, Moreno-Ocampo issued a summonses request for six Kenyans on charges of crimes against humanity relating to the violence that killed 1,500 people after a 2007 presidential election in the east African state.

He said in his France 24 interview on Thursday that "the lesson learned (from Kenya) is that violence is a ticket to prison, not to the cabinet."

Clashes erupted on Thursday in Ivory Coast’s biggest city Abidjan as troops loyal to one of the two self-declared presidents mobilised to halt a bid by protesters to storm state television headquarters.

Both Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo claim to have won last month’s election, and both have declared themselves president, triggering fears of new chaos in a country divided since 2002 into northern and southern armed camps.

Ouattara has been recognised by the international community as winner of the vote.


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