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ICC says 'intensified' probe into Ivory Coast's president's supporters

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara speaks at the first cabinet meeting of the year at the presidential palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Penney

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court’s prosecutors have intensified their investigations into supporters of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters the day before the opening of the trial of Ouattara’s predecessor Laurent Gbagbo, accused of unleashing civil war rather than leave office, Bensouda said she could give no details about ongoing confidential investigations.

“The investigations into the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire will be on both sides of the conflict,” she said, using the country’s French name. “We started in 2015. We have intensified investigations into the pro-Ouattara camp, and it is ongoing.”

The court has so far brought charges against only three people in connection with the conflict that followed the 2010 elections: Gbagbo, his wife Simone and his ally Charles Ble Goude.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams