Art & LifeSocietyGhana collaborates with ICC in Cote d'Ivoire "refugee" trials

Thu,23Oct2014

Posted on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:54

Ghana collaborates with ICC in Cote d'Ivoire "refugee" trials

Justin Katinan, a former Gbogbo ally, was arrested by Interpol on murder charges

Ghana says it is collaborating with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure successful trials of
those accused of criminal acts during Cote d'Ivoire's post electoral crisis last year.

 

Ghana's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Chris Kpodo announced the collaboration with the ICC on Tuesday at the signing of a final communiqué on a tripartite agreement between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Accra to implement the voluntary repatriation of Ivoirian refugees.



"To ensure significant progress in this matter, the hosting of a platform for the discussion on the subject of extradition request from Cote d'Ivoire by the UNHCR in Geneva may be useful due to the difference in the approaches of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire on matters of jurisprudence and due process," Kpodo said.

Kpodo reiterated Ghana's commitment to peace, security and stability of Côte d'Ivoire, saying the deliberations and co-operation between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire was not only on a policy and government level, but between people of the same origin, whose destiny was inextricably connected.

"It is therefore, our shared responsibility to work towards peace, security and stability in Cote d'Ivoire for our common good," he said. 



The deputy minister hoped the tripartite commission put in place would devise methods to encourage the international community to enhance its contribution towards the management of the Ivorian refugee, particularly their nutritional and health needs.



Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, according to Bernard Ehui-Koutoua, Ivoirian Ambassador to Ghana, wanted all Ivoirian Refugees to return home to contribute to national reconstruction of their country.



The UNHCR report indicates that during the Ivorian conflict more than 18,000 refugees crossed into Ghana and so far more than half of them had returned home under the voluntary repatriation programme.

The tripartite commission would meet again in April 2013 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire to review the situation.

Ghana has been working with its neighbour in arresting those accused of criminal acts, with the most high profile arrest being that of Justin Katinan, an ally of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, following a warrant from the Ivorian authorities on charges of robbery.



Katinan was later granted by a Ghanaian court, but he was later arrested by Interpol on murder charges, attracting the attention of the international community, with the United Nations sending a group of experts to Ghana.

Last October Ghana reacted angrily to a UN report that gave credence to allegations that the country was being used as a base by Ivorian refugees and exiles to destabilise neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.

This report was written by the UN experts that had earlier visited Ghana.



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