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Former Ivorian minister wanted for war crimes

Oct. 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM   |   Comments

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it unsealed an arrest warrant for former Ivorian Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude for war crimes.

The court said in a statement published Tuesday the 40-year-old Ble Goude bears responsibility for four counts of crimes against humanity, "namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed" during post-election conflicts from December 2010 to April 2010.

Ivory Coast was pushed to the brink of civil war following disputed presidential elections. Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is facing war crimes charges of his own for his role in the violence.

Ble Goude fled the country in April 2011 when Gbagbo was arrested and transferred to The Hague.

The ICC said the former minister was involved in orchestrating some of the violence. The court said he allegedly had power to give orders to Ivorian youth who were recruited into the military to serve as mercenaries loyal to Gbagbo.

The former minister told the BBC last year he wasn't responsible for crimes committed in Ivory Coast. He was accused in 2006 of encouraging attacks against U.N. workers in the country.

At least 3,000 Ivorians were killed during the post-election conflict.

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