ABIDJAN, Sep 27 – Ivory Coast plans to amend its constitution to enable the country to ratify the Statute of Rome, which set up the International Criminal Court (ICC), the government announced on Thursday.
“This revision is necessary because of the non-conformity of some provisions of the ICC’s Statute of Rome with the Ivorian constitution,” while a second amendment would be made to allow President Alassane Ouattara to ratify the statute, a statement said after a cabinet meeting.
Ivorian former president Laurent Gbagbo is currently facing trial at the ICC in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity committed five months after he refused to acknowledge defeat at the polls in November 2010.
That conflict ended in violence that cost around 3,000 lives.
“While Ivory Coast has signed the treaty setting up the International Criminal Court, and the Ivorian authorities have several times acknowledged its authority, no judicial measure has been taken to ratify this treaty,” the cabinet statement said.
Gbagbo’s defence has called the competence of the ICC into question, notably because the Statute of Rome has not yet been ratified by Ivory Coast.
However, ICC judges in August ruled that the court was competent to try Gbagbo, basing their decision largely on a declaration signed by Bamba Mamadou, who was Gbagbo’s foreign minister in April 2003.
Mamadou recognised the court’s authority.