- Title: Ivory Coast's Ouattara says country will not leave International Criminal Court
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (RECENT - NOVEMBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT SIGN EXTERIOR OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (RECENT - NOVEMBER 18, 2016) (REUTERS) ICC CHIEF PROSECUTOR, FATOU BENSOUDA, WALKING THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (RECENT - NOVEMBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) ICC FLAG
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 13:20
- Keywords: Ouattara Hollande Ivory Coast International Criminal Court ICC Gbagbo Bensouada
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE AND THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- City: PARIS, FRANCE AND THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- Country: France
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA00459J1ETJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
The Ivory Coast will not leave the International Criminal Court, the country's president Alassane Outtara said on Tuesday (November 22).
The world's first permanent war crimes court has been under pressure since Gambia, South Africa and Burundi said they would leave the court, with Kenya's parliament considering following suit. Gambia accused the world body in October of ignoring the "war crimes" of Western nations and seeking only to prosecute Africans.
Russia recently removed its signature from the ICC's founding treaty and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he might also withdraw from the ICC.
Speaking after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris, Outtara said he did not foresee a domino effect of more countries leaving.
"I don't think so, I don't want that. These are sovereign decisions, but the Ivory Coast will not leave the ICC (International Criminal Court). I think most countries share this belief. It's about fighting impunity, it's in our interest. We must begin with justice on a national level, and then if possible at a regional and continental level, but it's not the case today on a continental level. So the International Criminal Court does its work and often, by the way, at the request of African countries, of African authorities," Ouattara told reporters.
Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is among those standing trial at the court. War crimes prosecutors accused Gbagbo of orchestrating "unspeakable violence", including murder and gang rape, to cling to power after losing an election, pitching his country into civil war.
Four months of conflict ravaged Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa grower, in early 2011 after Gbagbo refused to step down. Around 3,000 people were killed and the fighting ended only when former colonial power France intervened militarily, allowing election winner Ouattara to take office.
The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was founded when 120 countries adopted its founding treaty in 1998. It is seen as a successor to the Nuremburg trials after World War II and ad-hoc U.N. war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
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