International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

ICC Warrant Unsealed for Wife of Former Côte d’Ivoire President


This past Thursday, the ICC unsealed an arrest warrant issued for Simone Gbagbo, the wife of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. The warrant was initially issued in February of this year. She has been indicted on four counts of crimes against humanity during the post-election violence in 2010 – murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, and other inhumane acts and persecution, specifically as an indirect co-perpetrator with her husband.

She is the first woman to be indicted by the ICC.

The arrest warrant details how President Gbagbo’s forces “targeted civilians they believed were supporters of Alassane Ouattara,” his challenger in the 2010 election. It says Simone Gbagbo was “ideologically and professionally very close to her husband” and participated in a plan to keep her husband in power. “Although not elected, Simone Gbagbo acted as an alter ego for her husband, exercising the power to make State decisions,” the ICC warrant asserts, according to a report by AllAfrica.

She is currently being detained in northern Côte d’Ivoire, facing independent counts of genocide and embezzlement. According to Agence France-Presse, the ICC has asked its Registry to prepare for her transfer to The Hague. Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, is also facing four counts of crimes against humanity and is currently awaiting trial in The Hague as well.


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