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U.S. says former president of Cote d'Ivoire needs to be held accountable

(Xinhua)

09:02, November 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cote d'Ivoire's former president Laurent Gbagbo needs to be held accountable for any human rights abuses, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Accusing Gbagbo of impeding the peaceful transition to democracy in his country, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that "any credible, transparent trial" that holds the former strongman accountable for his actions "can certainly be constructive in reconciliation efforts" in the West African nation.

Toner's comments came as Gbagbo left on Tuesday for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for a trial, as an international arrest warrant had been served on him.

Gbagbo and his wife had been placed under house arrest since April 11, when he was toppled in a two-week bloody war in the country's economic capital of Abidjan ensuing from a political impasse following the presidential run-off in Nov. 2010.

The ICC was authorized to investigate the eventual war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the conflicts which left at least 3,000 people dead.

At least 80 associates of Gbagbo were detained on charges of murder, economic crimes and threatening state security.

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