The speakers, namely Eric-Aimé SEMIEN, President of the Human Rights Observatory in Côte d’Ivoire (OIDH), Barrister Hélène CISSE, member of the Senegalese Bar, representing victims before the ICC, and Pascal KAMBALE, Programme Manager, Open Society Foundation, Regional Office for Africa, set the scene and led the discussions. The various civil society stakeholders and experts who attended the event discussed the impact of the ICC’s actions in Africa in general and in Côte d'Ivoire in particular.
It will be recalled that on 15 January 2019, the ICC Trial Chamber decided to dismiss charges against Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé accused of crimes against humanity. However, following the initiation of appeal proceedings, the ICC Court of Appeal decided on the conditional release of the two men pending the commencement of the appeal proceedings. These decisions of the ICC have been widely criticized and have provided an additional opportunity to challenge the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s investigation and prosecution strategy.