Ex-youth leader Ble Goude charged with war crimes over postelection violence in Ivory Coast

Published January 21, 2013

| Associated Press

Ivory Coast's state television says former youth leader Charles Ble Goude has been charged with war crimes over his alleged role in violence linked to the West African country's disputed presidential election two years ago.

RTI television said Monday that Ble Goude also faces charges of murder and theft of public funds. He was arrested in neighboring Ghana last week and extradited to Ivory Coast.

Ble Goude was a youth minister under President Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo's refusal to cede office despite losing the 2010 presidential election vote to current President Alassane Ouattara sparked five months of violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives.

Human Rights Watch says the ultranationalist group that Ble Goude headed killed hundreds of Ivorians and West African immigrants during the conflict.

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