FIDH calls the Security Council to refer the situation in Côte d’Ivoire to the International Criminal Court

The FIDH expresses its deepest concern over the new acts of violence in Côte d’Ivoire.

On November 4, 2004, raids of the Ivorian governmental air forces were launched against the ex-rebels’ positions in central, northern and western part of Côte d’Ivoire.

On November 6, planes from the Ivorian air forces bombed a military base of the French army, in Bouaké. Nine French soldiers were killed. As a reaction, the French army destroyed Ivorian military planes and helicopters parked in Yamoussoukro airport.

Violent anti-French demonstrators led by the "Young Patriots", who are supporters of the President Laurent Gbagbo, have attacked the French army. Recent reprisals would have resulted in 3 persons killed and more than 80 people injured. Since then, scenes of looting are common in Abidjan in spite of the intervention of the forces of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (OUNCI).

These military actions, led by the governmental forces, violate the recent Security Council’s resolutions and challenge the peace efforts agreed upon, until now, between the belligerent forces and supported by the international Community. The FIDH strongly condemns these actions, which undermine an already extremely fragile transition, and fears a bloody civil war.

The FIDH underlines how much the current situation is very likely to result from the quasi-absolute impunity that the perpetrators of international crimes and grave human rights violations in Côte d’Ivoire have been enjoying and are still enjoying today. However, the FIDH recalls that the right to justice for victims of such crimes had already been identified as an essential condition towards the fulfilment of the transition and the prevention of further crimes by three United Nations commissions of investigation, in the Marcoussis agreements and by the United Nations Security Council. The FIDH reminds the Ivorian authorities, whose responsibility in the crisis is obvious, the rebel forces, whose responsibility is engaged, and any other intervening parties, that their current actions engage their criminal responsibility and that they will have to respond to their acts.

The FIDH requests:

The governmental authorities:

- to immediately respect the ceasefire
- to respect the commitments they undertook by signing the peace agreements of
Marcoussis and Accra III
- to publicly call Ivorian population to calm

The rebel forces:

- to strictly respect the peace agreements, notably by taking part in the disarmament, demobilization and combatants rehabilitation process

The Operation of the United Nations in Côte d’Ivoire:

- to fully comply with its mandate, according to resolution 1528(2004) of the UN Security Council based on Chapter VII, notably by investigating on the violation of the ceasefire and by protecting the civilian population

The French military forces in Côte d’Ivoire :

- to help protect civilians, in the deployment areas of their units;
- to fully comply with the mandate provided in UN Security Council resolution 1528 respecting international humanitarian law

The African Union :

- to commit itself in the political settlement of the Ivorian crisis

The UN Security Council :

- to refer to the International Criminal Court all the international crimes committed in Côte d’Ivoire since the coup attempt of September 19, 2002.

Read more