Ouattara asks ICC to probe Ivory Coast crimes

Alassane Ouattara has been in power since the April arrest of Laurent Gbagbo.

Updated: May 19, 2011, 14:07 PM IST

The Hague: Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has asked the International Criminal Court prosecutor to launch an inquiry into "the most serious crimes" committed since last November`s violence-wracked election.

In the letter dated May 03, Ouattara expresses "my wish that your office carries out independent and impartial inquiries in Ivory Coast into the most serious crimes committed since November 28, 2010 throughout the Ivorian territory."

The letter, published on The Hague court`s website on Wednesday, also calls on the prosecutor to identify and bring to justice those found to bear the most criminal responsibility.

Ouattara, who has been in power since the April arrest of strongman Laurent Gbagbo, said last month that he was going to call on the ICC to open investigations.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on May 03 said that his office was preparing to launch a formal probe into alleged mass killings in Ivory Coast.

The ICC said it was particularly concerned about reported massacres in the west of the war-torn country.

Several hundred people were reportedly massacred in the western town of Duekoue, with forces loyal to rivals Gbagbo and Ouattara blaming each other.

Human Rights Watch has said that forces loyal to Ouattara killed or raped hundreds of people and burned villages during a rampage in late March.

Bureau Report