Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire charges 58 pro-Gbagbo former officers

Prosecutors in Côte d’Ivoire have charged 58 former army officers in a continuing crackdown on former president Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters.

AFP/Issouf Sanogo

The 58 have been charged with crimes relating to the fighting that followed last year’s presidential election, which saw Alassane Ouattara finally emerge as the country’s new leader.

About 40 of the officers have been detained, officials say, some in the commercial capital, Abidjan, and others in the northern town of Korhogo.

Charges include illegal arrest, murder, concealing corpses, rape, theft, insubordination, arbitrary detention, embezzlement and recruiting mercenaries.

The indictments follow the charging of 37 political figures, including Gbagbo’s son Michel.

Gbagbo himself is in jail in conditions that his lawyer claims are “a form of torture”.

At independence day celebrations last weekend, Ouattara extended a hand to his opponents, especially those who fled to Ghana, saying "their place is with us”.

But Gbagbo allies met the statement with suspicion.

A UN report on Thursday attributed a number of killings to Ouattara’s supporters.

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