Former President Jerry John Rawlings is delighted with Laurent Gbagbo’s
victory at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Tuesday.
The former Cote d’Ivoire leader was facing charges for crimes against humanity following the violence in the West African country suffered in the aftermath of the 2010 election.
Mr. Rawlings tweeted hours after the announcement hopeful the ICC ruling will unite Cote d’Ivoire.
“I hope this will serve as a new beginning for Cote d’Ivoire, a source of unity not division, strength not weakness,” Rawlings wrote.
Violence broke in Cote d’Ivoire after Gbagbo refused to accept election results after he lost to the then opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara.
Gbagbo was arrested in a UN operation in 2011.
Prosecutors accused Mr. Gbagbo of four counts of crimes against humanity, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and “other inhumane acts”.
The Ivorian leader denied the charges, describing them as politically motivated.
Analysts have described the ruling as a blow to the ICC prosecutors’ reputation.
“Whenever a case involving mass atrocities essentially collapses at the ICC, it does damage to the perception of the court as a credible and effective institution of international justice,” Mark Kersten, author of Justice in Conflict, told the BBC.
“Many are concerned that the court is emerging as an institution where only rebels can be successfully prosecuted,” he added.