After a contested election on November 28, 2010, widespread violence lasting several months between supporters of the former President Laurent Ggagbo and President-Elect Alassane Ouattara resulted in substantial civilian deaths across the nation. Relying on the submissions by the Prosecutor and the accompanied victims' reports, the Chamber authorized the commencement of an investigation for crimes committed since November 28, 2010, and any future crimes related to the current situation. The Chamber did not extend the authorization to investigate crimes committed prior to the election. Significantly, the Chamber found that investigation was justified under the Rome Statute because there was a reasonable basis to believe that the alleged crimes were committed, Cote D'Ivoire had previously assented to the Court's jurisdiction, and no national proceedings would likely to be brought against perpetrators.
The lengthy decision separately analyzed factual submissions providing evidence of alleged acts committed by either pro-Ggagbo or pro-Ouattara forces that would amount to crimes against humanity.
Regarding allegations against the pro-Ggagbo forces, the Chamber accepted the Prosecutor's submission that a diverse group of defense and security forces and militias, including police and youth groups, were instructed by governmental forces to carry out attacks against civilians, particularly those belonging to specific religious or ethnic groups. The Chamber pointed to the use of state media to incite violence, as well as the recruitment, training, and financing of militia groups and mercenaries. The Chamber concluded that these attacks were widespread and systematic. The Chamber found reasonable basis that murder, rape, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, and torture by pro-Ggagbo forces took place, and concluded that these individual acts constituted part of a larger attack.
With regard to pro-Ouattara forces, the Prosecutor offered evidence that pro-Ouattara forces also committed crimes against humanity. Evidence was submitted that pro-Ouattara forces, including tribal groups, foreign mercenaries, and defectors from Ggagbo forces, directed attacks against perceived Ggagbo supporters, particularly those from specific ethnic communities. Attacks included mass executions, systematic rapes, gang rapes, and murders of villagers of particular ethnic backgrounds, as well as widespread looting and burning of homes.
The Chamber also found a reasonable basis to believe that both groups had committed war crimes and that the crimes alleged are of sufficient gravity to warrant investigation by the Court.
Source : ASIL