Côte d'Ivoire: arrival on Saturday of the body of the Prime Minister who died on Wednesday

 Steph Deschamps / Mars 14, 2021

 

The body of the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, Hamed Bakayoko, who died Wednesday at the age of 56 in a hospital in Germany of cancer, is expected Saturday in Abidjan, announced the Ivorian presidency.

 

 

On Thursday, the government declared an eight-day national mourning period from March 12 to 19. The official program includes tributes from the nation on Wednesday, followed by the transfer of the body the next day to Seguela (North) where he will be buried on Friday in strict family privacy. Mr. Bakayoko, who was also Minister of Defense, was evacuated to France on February 18 by special plane for health reasons, before being transferred to a hospital in Germany last weekend, at the time of the legislative elections in his country. Despite his absence, he was overwhelmingly re-elected as a member of parliament in his stronghold of Séguéla (north).

 

Hamed Bakayoko succeeded Amadou Gon Coulibaly as Prime Minister in July 2020, who died a few days after returning from hospitalization and a two-month convalescence in France for heart problems. Appreciated on all sides of a country marked by high political tensions, opponents were keen to salute his memory. The former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, on parole in Brussels after his acquittal in first instance by the International Criminal Court (ICC), has postponed his return to the country scheduled for mid-March to fully associate, in the pure African tradition, to the mourning that hits Côte d'Ivoire, with the brutal death of  Mr. Bakayoko, said a statement by the secretary general of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI, the party founded by Mr. Gbagbo), Adou Assoa. 

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