Former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo, extradited to the ICC

Laurent Gbagbo arrested, 11 April 2011 Source:

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Former Cote d'Ivoire  President, Laurent Koudou Gbagbo, was extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) following an arrest warrant issued by the Office of the Prosecutor for Gbagbo's involvement in the 2010 post-election violence.  Gbagbo had refused to relinquish power following his defeat in the 2010 election, which he lost to Alassane Ouattara.  Gbagbo responded by utilising state military apparatus to suppress dissent.  In the period following 2010, around 1000 people were killed and an estimated 500,000 were internally and externally displaced in the four month civil war due to clashes between pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces.  

Gbagbo was charged with crimes against humanity due to the large-scale civilian victimisation and human rights abuses committed by his troops during the conflict, which lasted until March 2011.  Gbagbo was placed under house arrest in the tiny village of Korhogo, located more than 500 kilometres north of Abidjan, since he was ousted by internationally-backed forces in April 2010. On 29 November, Gbagbo was transferred to the ICC headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands, for prosecution.

Gbagbo became the first former head of state to be taken into custody by the ICC since its founding in 2002.  While the Gbagbo case was a referral by the Prosecutor's Office, incumbent president Ouattara had also requested that the ICC take action, and thus the Cote d'Ivoire case was also a self-referral. This fuelled the debate over the ICC's political bias, as Ouattara forces were also accused of human rights abuses.

The ICC has indicted a two other African heads of state, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

• Cook, N. 2011. Cote d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis [Online]. Available:
•   The Associated Press. 2011. Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo extradited to the Hague [Online]. Available:
•  The Crisis in Cote d'Ivoire [Online]. Available:
• Sekularac, I. 2011. Gbagbo faces charges of crimes against humanity: ICC [Online]. Available:

Last updated : 27-Nov-2015

This article was produced for South African History Online on 22-Nov-2012