ICC asks victims of I. Coast poll violence to come foward

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Victims of post-poll violence in Ivory Coast have 30 days to submit testimony in support of an investigation by the International Criminal Court, a statement said on Friday.

The tribunal's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said he will ask its top chamber for authorisation to launch a formal crimes against humanity investigation in Ivory Coast.

Hundreds of people are said to have died in the bloody post-election crisis before internationally-recognised leader Alassane Ouattara finally ousted his rival following the disputed November elections.

Details of crimes alleged to have been committed during the unrest should be submitted within 30 days, the ICC said.

"Should the judges authorise the opening of the investigation, victims will also have the opportunity to participate in the proceedings and, at a later stage, to request reparations," the statement said.

UN investigators estimate that the conflict cost the lives of 3,000 people. They say tens of thousands more have still to return to the homes they fled. The ICC announcement came a day after Ouattara's government said it would hold its own inquiry amid criticism from rights campaigners that only the losing side was being investigated.

© 2011 AFP

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