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Vol 37 No 18

Published 6th September 1996

Côte d'Ivoire

Guéi goes

Whatever the truth about the alleged coup plot against President Henri Konan Bédié last October, it is being used comprehensively to weed out perceived enemies of the ruling clique. A leading casualty was the Sports Minister, General Robert Guéi , who was sacked on 10 August. Guéi, a Yacouba who comes from the same part of the western region as oppositionist Laurent Gbagbo, has been accused of supporting ex-Premier Alassane Dramane Ouattara, now a Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Guéi was thought insufficiently helpful to Bédié in the succession struggle after Félix Houphouët-Boigny's death. Some junior officers have tried to link Guéi to October's coup plot. But no one in the government goes that far and Guéi has angrily denied press reports that he was put under house arrest after his sacking from the Sports Ministry. He has since been spotted driving around Abidjan with his military guard.

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