Ivory Coast : National Dialogue, Reconciliation Forum Begins

It is chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Hamed Bakayoko.

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The government of Ivory Coast has invited leaders of political parties and members of the civil society to take part in a National Dialogue. The dialogue that began yesterday, December 21, 2020 is being chaired by the Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko. The decision to organize a National Dialogue had been on the lips of many Ivoirians following incessant protests against the candidature and re-election of President Alassane Ouattara for a third mandate on October 3, 2020.

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The convening of the National Dialogue comes after the first meeting more than a month ago between the Head of State Alassane Ouattara and Henri Konan Bédié, the then President of the National Transitional Council that is contesting President Ouattara’s re-election. Ten days ago (9 December 2020), Konan Bedie, announced the end of the National Transitional Council by calling for the holding of National Dialogue and the release of all political prisoners, "I propose now and urgently, in agreement with all the opposition, the organization of a National Dialogue. This new framework for dialogue which will see the participation of all the forces of the Nation replaces the National Transitional Council (CNT) that the Ivorian opposition had initially proposed," he reiterated. 

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By inviting all parties and civil society, the Prime Minister has responded favorably to the request of the opposition even though the participation of some historic parties in the debate is not yet guaranteed because the government has not fulfilled the other conditions, which are the release of political prisoners and the presence of an international body, such as the UN, to frame the dialogue.

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It should be noted that the announcement to organize the dialogue came a few hours after PDCI executive secretary Maurice Kakou Guikahué arrested alongside former PM Pascal Affi N’guessa was evacuated to France for health reasons. His condition deteriorated while he was imprisoned at the Abidjan Remand Center. Mr Kakou was part of the wave of arrests on November 3, 2020 in the ranks of the opposition. They are accused of undermining state authority. 

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