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Ivory Coast high court declares Ouattara president

The Ivory Coast Constitutional Council, the nation's highest court, on Thursday declared Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile] winner of the country's disputed presidential election, reversing a previous decision. The court originally refused to ratify the results of the November election, sparking months of violence between supporters of Ouattara and incumbent candidate Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile]. Constitutional Council President Paul Yao N'Dre said that Ouattara was invited to take the oath of office [Reuters report] as soon as possible.

Last month, Human Rights Watch urged Ouattara to investigate "atrocities" [JURIST report], including murder and rape, committed by opposing political forces during the recent conflict. Also in April, International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said that he is willing to investigate [JURIST report] alleged war crimes in the Ivory Coast. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] reported the deaths of at least 800 civilians [JURIST report] in the Ivory Coast town of Duekoue as a result of intercommunal violence that took place. Gbagbo was arrested on April 11.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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