ICC Unseals Warrant for ex-Ivory Coast Youth Leader Ble Goude

The International Criminal Court unsealed an arrest warrant for Charles Ble Goude, the former leader of a youth militia loyal to ex-President Laurent Gbagbo, for his role in the 2011 post-election crisis in Ivory Coast that left at least 3,000 people dead.

Ble Goude “allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity,” The Hague-based court said today in an e-mailed statement. He is suspected by the ICC of murder, rape, persecution and other violence from Dec. 16, 2010 to April 12, 2011. The warrant, issued in December 2011, was unsealed yesterday, the statement said.

Known as “The Street General” and for his rhetoric against foreigners in Ivory Coast, Ble Goude, 40, was appointed youth minister by Gbagbo during the crisis that followed a 2010 presidential election. He was arrested in January in Ghana and extradited to Ivory Coast where he has been charged with war crimes, murder and robbery in a local court.

Ivory Coast authorities refused last month to transfer Simone Gbagbo, the wife of the former president, to the ICC, saying the local judicial system can handle her trial. Her husband is detained at the Hague since Nov. 2011 where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest cocoa producer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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