World, Africa

Ivory Coast withdraws from African Human Rights Court

West African nation says court has undermined its sovereignty

Felix Nkambeh Tih   | 30.04.2020
Ivory Coast withdraws from African Human Rights Court


Ivory Coast has withdrawn from the African Court on Human and Peoples' Right, saying the court has undermined its sovereignty, local media reported.

The decision followed "serious and intolerable actions" the African Court has allowed itself in its actions, Sidi Tiemoko Toure, the government spokesman and communication minister, said late Wednesday.

According to Toure, the African Court had undermined the authority, sovereignty and the Ivorian justice system.

Last week, the African Court had ordered Ivory Coast to suspend its arrest warrant for Guillaume Soro and to release 19 of his relatives who have been imprisoned for several months.

An arrest warrant was issued to Soro -- a former parliament speaker -- after he announced his candidacy for the Oct. 31 presidential election.

On Tuesday, Soro was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison.

Soro, 47, also a former prime minister, was found guilty of concealment and embezzlement of public funds and money laundering, during a hearing in the city of Abidjan in the absence of his lawyers.

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights is a continental court established by African countries to ensure protection of human and peoples' rights in Africa.

The court complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Last week, Benin, another West African country had also announced that it was withdrawing from the protocol which allows a citizen of a state to directly appeal to the African Court.

The court had asked Benin to suspend the holding of May 17, 2020 municipal elections following a request from an exiled opposition leader.

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was established under a protocol to the African Charter.

The Protocol on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was adopted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on June 9, 1998 and entered into force on Jan. 25, 2004.

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