Former Ivory Coast Leader Goes on Trial at ICC
The war crimes trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo began Thursday at the International Criminal Court.
Gbagbo, the first former head of state to be tried at The Hague, is facing charges of crimes against humanity, including rape and murder, for the four month-long conflict in 2010 that left 3,000 people dead. Prosecutors say the 70-year-old Gbagbo launched the war to cling to power, despite losing the presidential election to his rival, Alassane Ouattara.
The conflict finally ended after France, Ivory Coast's former colonial ruler, sent in troops to restore order and arrest Gbagbo.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the ICC headquarters before the start of the trial to show their support for Gbagbo.
The ICC also has a warrant for the former president's wife, Simone, on charges of crimes against humanity. She was sentenced last year to a 20-year prison sentence by an Ivorian court.
Sweden to Reject Tens of Thousands Asylum Seekers
Sweden says it preparing to deport about 80,000 asylum seekers who entered the country in record waves last year.
The numbers represent half of the 163,000 people who crossed into Sweden escaping wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Interior Minister Anders Ygeman told a Swedish newspaper Thursday the refugees will be expelled because the applications for asylum were being rejected. The rejected applicants will be able to leave voluntarily, or forcibly sent back home.
Sweden was a top destination for refugees because of its long-standing open borders policy. But the sheer numbers of refugees have forced Stockholm to impose border controls and identification checks on new arrivals.
Meanwhile, the bodies of at least 18 migrants who drowned when their boat capsized were recovered Thursday off the coast of the Greek island of Samos. Authorities say 10 people were rescued. Most of the fatalities were children.
The bodies of seven migrants -- two of them children -- were recovered Wednesday after their boat capsized off the island of Kos.
More than one million people from war-torn nations flooded into Europe last year, making it the continent's worst migration crisis since World War II. Many of those arrived in Greece after making a dangerous voyage from Turkey across the Aegean Sea.