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Ivory Coast ex-President Gbagbo to go to Belgium after ICC acquittal

Belgium has agreed to host Ivory Coast ex-President Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Laurent Gbagbo had been charged with crimes against humanity
Laurent Gbagbo had been charged with crimes against humanity

Under his conditional release, Mr Gbagbo will not be allowed to leave Belgium, pending an appeal.

He was the first former head of state to go on trial at the ICC.

He had been charged with crimes against humanity in connection with violence following a disputed 2010 election that left 3,000 dead and 500,000 displaced.

Mr Gbagbo was captured in 2011 in a presidential palace bunker by UN and French-backed forces supporting his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

What was Mr Gbagbo accused of?

The violence in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, came after Mr Gbagbo refused to accept that he had lost a disputed election run-off to Mr Ouattara in 2010.

The five months of violence that followed were described as some of the most brutal clashes the country had ever seen.

During the political stand-off there were bloody clashes and targeted killings in Abidjan in the south, and several hundred people were massacred in the western town of Duekoue.

Prosecutors said Mr Gbagbo had clung to power “by all means” and charged him with four counts of crimes against humanity, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and “other inhuman acts”.

He denied the charges, which he said were politically motivated. BBC