Amadé Ouérémi was sentenced on Thursday 13 April to life imprisonment by the Criminal Court of Abidjan. This militia leader was found guilty of the massacre of several hundred people on 28 and 29 March 2011 in Duékoué Carrefour. More than 800 dead according to the Red Cross, 300 according to the UN.
With our correspondent in Abidjan, Pierre Pinto
Crimes against the population, kidnapping, looting, destruction … In total, Amadé Ouérémi is found guilty of more than a dozen charges. Guilty of having perpetrated and participated in one of the darkest pages of Ivory Coast’s history, at the head of more than a hundred men. Throughout the 7-day trial, the militia leader was at liberty to say that he was a simple element at the orders of rebel leaders and that he was not on the scene on 28 and 29 March 2011, the criminal court in Abidjan did not believe him.
Amadé Ouérémi claimed to be under the command of a rebel leader called « Coulibaly de Kouibly », who was himself under the orders of comzone Losseni Fofana, alias « Loss », now a colonel in the army. Heard by the investigating judge before the trial, they had simply denied knowing him before his arrest in 2013.
The defence lawyer had requested their appearance, which was refused by the president. At the end of this trial, Roseline Aka Serikpa denounced a « biased decision ». « Amadé Ouérémi is only partly responsible. It is really unfair to make him bear sole responsibility for what happened in Duékoué. You have seen me ask for the appearance of people who were mentioned by name by Mr Ouérémi: Losseni Fofana, Coulibaly de Kouibly. And since these people are still very much alive, it was up to the prosecution to ensure that they appear. We would have liked the Loss and Coulibaly to have been able to appear before the court, » added Mr Serikpa, deploring the « many grey areas ».
« We would have liked the Loss and the other comzones cited to be there to tell their part of the truth. But a judge decided otherwise. All the light has not been done, » said Issiaka Diaby, president of the collective of victims of crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, who said he was satisfied that this trial was held and hopes for more. « This decision is like an unfinished symphony. We will make do while waiting for justice to prosecute other perpetrators of crimes, so that Côte d’Ivoire is definitely an environment of justice and peace. «
Amadé Ouérémi is not the only one responsible. We will have to go further. Alone, he could never have committed so many cruel acts. And we will have to look for and find the commanders. Because there are some.