Former Ivory Coast Leader’s Aide Charged Over Attacks Against The Army

The charges are linked to a wave of attacks by unidentified gunmen against the army. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File)

The charges are linked to a wave of attacks by unidentified gunmen against the army. By Sia Kambou (AFP/File)

(AFP) – Ivory Coast charged a former minister close to ex-president Laurent Gbagbo with “violating state security” and remanded him in custody, following recent attacks against the army, his lawyer said.

Alphonse Douati, who is deputy secretary general of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), was detained for questioning by DST domestic intelligence agents at his home and taken to agency offices on Saturday evening.

His arrest came several hours after an attack on the party headquarters, where armed men abducted two people and wounded three.

The FPI has blamed President Alassane Ouattara’s supporters for the raid, while Ouattara’s party has denied involvement.

Douati was detained at Abidjan’s Maca prison, his lawyer, Toussaint Zahui Dako, told AFP.

The charges are linked to a wave of attacks by unidentified gunmen against the army over the last two weeks, he added.

“Several arrested people have named him but he says he does not know them,” the lawyer said.

“His daughter Desiree Douati and four other people”, who were arrested near the DST offices when they wanted to see the former minister, “were also charged with causing a public disturbance and detained at Maca”, he added.

The court was expected to hand down its verdict on Friday, said Dako.

On Thursday, armed men attacked an army base, a prison and police stations near Abidjan, prompting Prime Minister Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou to call on those responsible to disarm and not block the country’s “revival”.

Ouattara was Gbagbo’s rival in a post-election crisis that plunged the country into chaos from December 2010 to April 2011 and claimed 3,000 lives.

Five months of unrest followed the disputed polls before Gbagbo was eventually arrested when forces loyal to Ouattara stormed his heavily fortified home with French and UN military backing.

He was extradited in November to The Hague, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

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