International Criminal Court prosecutor to visit Côte dIvoire

14 October 2011The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, will travel to Côte d’Ivoire for an official visit to meet the Government, members of the opposition and people affected by the post-election violence that engulfed the West African country at the start of the year. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, will travel to Côte d’Ivoire for an official visit to meet the Government, members of the opposition and people affected by the post-election violence that engulfed the West African country at the start of the year.The ICC earlier this month authorized the prosecutor to probe alleged abuses committed during the bloody post-election unrest – the seventh investigation in Africa and the first in a State that is not a party to the treaty that set up the court.“I am grateful to President [Alassane] Ouattara for extending the invitation. We will also meet members of the opposition. We will meet with victims, and listen to their views and concerns,” said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo in a statement issued by the ICC announcing the two-day trip starting tomorrow.“We believe it is critically important to meet with the Truth, Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission, which has a crucial mandate to contribute to the prevention of new crimes, the establishment of individual responsibilities and the reconciliation of all Ivorians.”He said his office is closely monitoring election-related developments including in neighbouring countries, including Liberia, which, he said, could affect stability throughout the West African region.“We will pay close attention to the actions and statements of the political class, and in particular to the presidential candidates, including after the elections. Resorting to violence will not be tolerated,” said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo.The ICC pre-trial chamber on 3 October granted the prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed Côte d’Ivoire following the November 2010 presidential run-off elections, “as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation.” stated a news release from the court.It also requested the prosecutor to provide any additional information on “potentially relevant crimes” committed in the country between 2002 and 2010.Mr. Moreno-Ocampo had in June requested authorization from the court to open an investigation after a preliminary examination led him to conclude there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction had been committed in the country after 28 November 2010.The violence erupted when former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after he lost the United Nations-certified election to Alassane Ouattara, who was eventually sworn in after Mr. Gbagbo surrendered in April.According to sources quoted by the prosecution in its application, at least 3,000 persons were killed, 72 disappeared and 520 others were subject to arbitrary arrest and detentions during the post-election violence.Cote read more

Presidential Task Force for child protection

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chief Minister of Western Province Isura Dewapriya, Deputy Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Dulip Wijeysekara also participated in this occasion. President Maithripala Sirisena says he would appoint a special Presidential Task Force for the protection of children of the nation.He said that as a comprehensive social discourse has been raised on the safety and protection of children, the Presidential Task Force will be implemented by engaging it directly. President Sirisena also pointed out when Vidya and Seya was brutally murdered, some media institutions acted in a way to further destroy their lives. “Everybody should have an understanding about how to perform to build a better and moral society in the country amidst these kinds of incidents.The three storied building named “Pannila Sri Ananda Na Himi’ is a donation made by the Chief Incumbent of Atanagalla Purana Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Dr. Pannila Ananda Nayaka Thero. “Working for the safety and protection of children is today an unneglectable national responsibility of all”, he said. The President made these remarks at the opening ceremony of newly built three-storied building at Urapola Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Attanagalla today. read more