Ivory Coast president: Gbagbo will face charges

IVORY Coast’s president said the country’s arrested strongman will face charges “on a national level and an international level” as the president attempts to restore order after a bloody four-month standoff.

Alassane Ouattara said strongman Laurent Gbagbo has been moved out of the Golf Hotel, where he was taken after his capture on Monday. He said Gbagbo will be kept in a villa and that his rights as a former head of state will be respected.

A UN official said that its peacekeeping forces are providing personal security protection for Gbagbo.

“Gbagbo is in a residence under surveillance somewhere in Ivory Coast,” Ouattara told reporters at the Golf Hotel.

The justice minister is preparing for possible prosecution of Gbagbo, he said, but gave no details.

“There will be charges (against Gbagbo) on a national level and an international level,” he said. “Reconciliation cannot happen without justice.”

The Hague-based International Criminal Court had no immediate comment on Ouattara’s statement.

Ouattara repeated his call against violence, and said that all minors being held should be released immediately.

“We need to secure the country, notably Abidjan,” he said. “It is important for the country to emerge from this crisis on top.”

Ouattara said he will settle into the presidential palace in the coming days, but that a swearing-in ceremony is not a priority and will take place at a later date.

He said his priority is to provide security for Ivorians, to establish law and order and to get the country working.

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