Ivory Coast to Prosecute Instigators of 2020 Electoral Unrest
(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast will lay charges against all those who contributed to deadly civil unrest over the 2020 presidential election period, Public Prosecutor Richard Adou said.
“They will all be subjected to the rigor of the criminal law, the objective being to fight against the impunity of the perpetrators of serious offenses,” he told reporters in the economic capital, Abidjan, on Monday. His comments followed a six-month special inquiry into the violence that left at least 85 people dead and almost 500 wounded between August and November last year.
Main opposition leader and former head of state Henri Konan Bedie, 87, who boycotted the Oct. 31 vote and called for civil disobedience against President Alassane Ouattara’s plans to seek a third term, may be among those prosecuted. Bedie isn’t protected by a 2005 law that grants former presidents a degree of immunity, as it contains a provision allowing for them to be tried for offenses committed during election periods, Adou said.
About 233 people linked to the election unrest have already been arrested. While most have been released from custody, a further 40 are being sought for their involvement.
The crackdown threatens to derail a political dialog between government and the opposition that resumed this month after a period of relative calm in the world’s top cocoa producer.
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