By Antoine Panaite, Clara Sanchiz and Maxence Peniguet
The International Criminal Court has accused Charles Blé Goudé, a former Ivorian minister and youth activist, of crimes against humanity. According to the prosecutor, the “Street General” is accused of having taken part in devising and implementing a common plan to maintain Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo in power. This led to the crimes detailed in this article.
- RTI, 16 to 19 December 2010
Firstly, Charles Blé Goudé will judged for his alleged involvement in the attacks linked to the demonstrations in front of the headquarters of RTI (Ivorian Radio and Television) between 16 and 19 December. At least 45 people were killed, 54 wounded and 16 women were raped.
Blé Goudé is accused of being responsible for these crimes under Article 25 of the Rome Statute. He is charged with bearing criminal responsibility for having ordered or encouraged the commissioning of these crimes and/or for his assistance or contribution to these crimes (to be exact, these points refer to Article 25(3)(b), (c) and (d).
- Attack on Yopougon between 25 and 28 February 2011
Fatou Bensouda has also accused him of being an indirect co-perpetrator of crimes committed between 25 and 28 February 2011 during the attack on Yopougon. 24 were killed and at least 7 others injured.
This ICC charge is also based on Article 25(3)(b), (c), and (d), as well as (3)(a). This means that Blé Goudé is accused of committing these crimes on his own, together with someone else or via an intermediary.
- Women’s demonstration in Abobo, 3 March 2011
Charles Blé Goudé is also accused of having played a role in the attack, which was launched during a protest by women in Abobo on 3 March 2011. Seven women were killed and three were wounded.
The judges will have to rule on Blé Goudé’s assistance (and/or possible contribution) in the commission of the crimes mentioned, based on Article 25(3)(c).
· Bombing of the Abobo market, 17 March 2011
The “Street General” is also accused of having been involved in the bombing of the Abobo market and its surroundings on 17 March 2011. More than 40 people were killed and at least 60 wounded. The court will have to rule on his support and/or contribution in the commission of these crimes.
- Attack on Yopougon, around 12 April 2011
Finally, Charles Blé Goudé will also be tried for his role in another attack on Yopougon. It took place on 12 April 2011, and more than 68 people were killed, 2 wounded and 22 women were raped. The rapes included the rape of minors and collective rapes.
He will be tried on all these points under Article 25(3)(a), (b), (c) and (d).
In general, these crimes involve Blé Goudé’s criminal responsibility because he helped devise and organize a structure which permitted the execution of the common plan which was designed to keep Laurent Gbagbo in power and led to the commission of these crimes. According to the prosecutor, Blé Goudé aided, mobilised and actively took part in the activities of various pro-Gbagbo forces, especially the pro-Gbagbo youth.
Charles Blé Goudé is alleged to have served as Laurent Gbagbo’s intermediary
The prosecution says that Blé Goudé regularly met Gbagbo and his inner circle to fine tune their strategy, according to developments in the crisis. The prosecutor charges that the “Street General” then served as an intermediary between Gbagbo and his circle to organize the mobilization of pro-Gbagbo forces.
One of Blé Goudé’s roles was to incite the pro-Gbagbo forces and in particular pro-Gbagbo youths to commit these crimes or to help carry them out. Using xenophobic rhetoric in his public speeches, he legitimised, encouraged and publicised violent attacks against foreigners and people considered to be pro-Ouattara.
If you’d like to find out more about the Ivorian ICC cases (in French), visit our sister site: Ivoire Justice.