ICC will not investigate post-poll violence in Gabon

2018-09-22 17:28
The exterior of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. (iStock)

The exterior of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. (iStock)

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The International Criminal Court will not open a formal investigation into claims of post-election violence following the disputed 2016 presidential election, an ICC prosecutor said on Friday.

"There is no reasonable basis to believe that the acts allegedly committed in Gabon in the context of the 2016 post-election violence" amounted to crimes against humanity that the court is mandated to investigate and prosecute, Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.

"The legal requirements for opening an investigation into the situation in the Gabonese Republic ("Gabon") have not been satisfied," the statement concluded.

The reelection of President Ali Bongo in August 2016, by just a few thousand votes, led opposition leader Jean Ping to accuse the administration of electoral fraud.

Violence broke out days after the vote, and opposition figures say that more than 50 people were killed in the ensuing clashes. The official toll was only three dead.

Ping and 15 non-governmental organisations had complained about the violence and Bensouda's office carried out a preliminary examination into the accusations.

The prosecutor said Friday that the court's decision "by no means diminishes the seriousness of the violent acts and human rights violations that appear to have occurred in Gabon in the course of the post-election crisis".

Gabonese legislative elections are scheduled in October.

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Read more on:    international criminal court  |  gabon  |  southern africa

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