Ivory Coast Opposition Says Dialog Stalled After ICC Surrender

Ivory Coast’s former ruling party said political dialog with the government has stalled after the former leader of a youth militia loyal to ex-President Laurent Gbagbo was handed over to the International Criminal Court.

The government’s surrender of Charles Ble Goude to The Hague on March 22 “constitutes, in our mind, a serious impediment to national reconciliation,” Laurent Akoun, spokesman for the Ivorian Popular Front, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The party called for boycotts of the country’s population census, the first in 16 years, as well as hearings of a truth and reconciliation commission on 2011’s post-election crisis.

Ble Goude, 42, was appointed youth minister by Gbagbo during the unrest that followed a disputed 2010 election. He was arrested last year in neighboring Ghana and is accused by the ICC on four counts of crimes against humanity.

A five-month standoff ended in April 2011 after 10 days of fighting in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, left at least 3,000 people dead, according to the United Nations. Gbagbo has been detained in The Hague since November 2011 where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

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