April 18, 2003

Though not a State Party to the Rome Statute, Cote d’Ivoire accepts the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) jurisdiction “for the purposes of identifying, investigating and trying the perpetrators and accomplices of acts committed on Ivorian territory since the events of 19 September 2002,” the start of the first Ivorian civil war.

October 31, 2010

National elections are held in Côte d’Ivoire with 85 percent voter turnout. However, there is no majority winner and a runoff is required.

November 28, 2010

The presidential runoff election is held. According to UN-certified results announced by the Ivorian Electoral Commission (IEC), Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of Republicans (RDR) wins the election with 54.1 percent of the vote, compared to 45.9 percent for Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI). The international community endorses these results. Gbagbo rejects the results and appeals to the IEC. The IEC annuls its results and claims that Gbagbo has won the election with 51.5 percent of the vote against Ouattara’s 48.6 percent. The international community, including the UN, African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union, remains supportive of Ouattara and the initial election results.

November 2010 – February 2011

Both candidates maintain their claims and form opposing governments. Ouattara operates his government out of the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, which is blockaded by pro-Gbagbo forces. International organizations, including ECOWAS and the AU, repeatedly appeal to Gbagbo to step down and impose financial restrictions on Gbagbo, his inner circle, and government financial institutions. Months of growing violence between the two political groups erupts into a full-scale conflict.

February 2011

Guillaume Soro, Ouattara’s Prime Minister, launches a military offensive with the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire, comprised mostly of soldiers from the Forces Nouvelles (New Forces), a former rebel group supportive of Outtara.

March 30, 2011

UN Security Council passes resolution 1975 (2011), which calls for Gbagbo to step down and appeals for an immediate end to the violence.

April 4, 2011

UNOCI begins military operations in order to stop attacks on UN peacekeepers and to prevent the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population.

April 6, 2011

Pro-Gbagbo forces resume attacks in Abidjan, employing heavy weapons in attacks against the government, civilians, and UN peacekeepers.

April 9, 2011

Gbagbo forces start a concentrated attack on the Golf Hotel.

April 10, 2011

UNOCI and French Licorne forces begin a military operation in Abidjan against Gbagbo’s forces. UNOCI forces receive instructions from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to use “all necessary means” to prevent Gbagbo forces from continuing the use of heavy weapons in Abidjan.

April 11, 2011

Gbagbo surrenders to Ouattara’s forces and Ouattara’s government takes him into custody.

May 6, 2011

Ouattara is sworn in as President of Côte d’Ivoire.

May 21, 2011

Ouattara’s Presidential Inauguration is held.

June 23, 2011

The Prosecutor of the ICC submits a request for the authorization of an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire since November 28, 2010 pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

September 2011

A Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission is launched with the goal of forging unity between the opposition groups.

October 3, 2011

Pre-Trial Chamber III authorizes the investigation into crimes in Côte d’Ivoire occurring since November 28, 2010.

October 25, 2011

Prosecution applies for an arrest warrant for Gbagbo.

November 23, 2011

Pre-Trial Chamber III issues Gbagbo’s arrest warrant, under seal.

November 30, 2011

Gbagbo’s arrest warrant is unsealed, and he is transferred to the ICC.

December 5, 2011

Gbagbo makes his initial appearance before the ICC.

December 21, 2011

Pre-Trial Chamber III issues Blé Goudé’s arrest warrant, under seal.

February 22, 2012

Pre-Trial Chamber III expands the Prosecution’s authority to investigate crimes allegedly committed between September 19, 2002 to November 28, 2010.

February 19-28, 2013

Gbagbo’s confirmation of charges hearing is held.

September 30, 2013

Blé Goudé’s arrest warrant is unsealed.

March 22, 2014

Blé Goudé is transferred to the ICC.

March 27, 2014

Blé Goudé makes his initial appearance before the ICC.

June 12, 2014

Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed the charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, against Gbagbo.

September 29 – October 2, 2014

Blé Goudé’s confirmation of charges hearing is held.

December 11, 2014

Pre-Trial Chamber I confirms the charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, against Blé Goudé.

December 16 and 22, 2014

The Office of the Prosecutor requests that the trial chamber join the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé cases in the interest of justice and judicial economy because the charges are largely the same, the majority of the witnesses and other evidence in both cases relates to Gbagbo and Blé Goudé, and joinder would not unduly delay proceedings or otherwise prejudice the accused.

March 11, 2015

Trial Chamber I grants the prosecution’s request for joinder of the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé cases, reasoning that the charges in both cases were sufficiently similar, that joinder does not pose a serious prejudice to the accused, and that it is in the interest of justice.

March 16, 2015

The Blé Goudé defense requests leave to appeal the decision to join the two cases.

March 17, 2015

The Gbagbo defense requests leave to appeal the decision to join the two cases.

April 22, 2015

Trial Chamber I rejects the requests to appeal the joinder by both the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé defenses.

May 7, 2015

Trial Chamber I set the commencement date for the joint trial on November 10, 2015. This date is later vacated.

January 28, 2016

The joint trial of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé begins before ICC Trial Chamber I in The Hague.

January 19, 2018

The final prosecution witness completes her testimony.

March 19, 2018

In response to an order from Trial Chamber I, the prosecution files a trial brief containing a detailed narrative of the case in light of the testimonies heard and the documentary evidence submitted at trial.

June 4, 2018

Formal closing of the presentation of evidence for the prosecution.

July 23, 2018

Defense files a “no case to answer” motion, asking the judges to acquit the defendants due to insufficient prosecution evidence.

January 15, 2019

Trial Chamber I acquits Gbagbo and Blé Goudé, of all charges and orders their immediate release from ICC detention because the prosecution failed to satisfy the burden of proof in relation to several core elements of the case. The majority decision follows hearings that took place in October and November 2018 regarding the “no case to answer” motion submitted by the defendants.

February 1, 2019

Following an appeal from the prosecution to keep Gbagbo and Blé Goudé in detention, the ICC Appeals Chamber unanimously decides they should be released. However, conditions are placed on their release, in part, in order to ensure their attendance at any future proceedings.

July 16, 2019

Trial Chamber I issues its full written judgment setting out reasons why the prosecution’s evidence was too weak to support its allegations against Gbagbo and Blé Goudé. The prosecution has 30 days from this date to decide whether to appeal the decision.

September 17, 2019

The prosecution gives notice of its intention to appeal the judgment, asking the Appeals Chamber to reverse the acquittal issued by the majority of Trial Chamber I

March 31, 2021

The Appeals Chamber rejects the prosecution’s appeal and upholds the acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé