Abidjan: Ivory Coast has charged 58 army officers close to ousted president Laurent Gbagbo and is holding 40 of them in custody, a military justice official said on Thursday.
Ange Kessi, the west African country`s military prosecutor, told reporters that 58 army officers from Gbagbo`s regime were charged over crimes committed during the crisis that erupted after November polls when Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Alassane Ouattara.
Among the top pro-Gbagbo officers detained is Brunot Dogbo Ble, former commander of the feared Republican Guard.
The detained officers are being held in Abidjan and in the northern town of Korhogo. Some of them were arrested several weeks ago and have been detained in military camps, Ange Kessi said.
They face a raft of charges, including "illegal arrest, murder, concealing corpses, rape, theft, insubordination, arbitrary detention, embezzlement, recruiting mercenaries..."
The indictments follow the charging of 37 political figures close to Gbagbo and come as Ouattara extended a hand of reconciliation to his former foes, a gesture met with suspicion by the former strongman`s allies.