“For me, it’s the end of a long battle.” Twenty years she’s been waiting for this. Twenty years that she hoped for her father “a recognition of the nation”. Former putschist general Robert Gueï should soon obtain the status of former head of state, announced his daughter Mireille Gueï, during a commemorative ceremony which took place in the village of her father’s birth, Kabakouma, in the Tonkpi region (western Ivorian), near the big city of Man, twenty years to the day after his assassination.
“A promise” that Alassane Ouattara made on September 9, during a meeting with the executives of the Union for Peace and Democracy in Côte d’Ivoire (UDPCI), the party founded by Robert Gueï, and whose his daughter has no doubts about the concretization, by issuing a decree. “The president did not go into details. Upon his return from the United States [Alassane Ouattara participe à la 77e Assemblée générale des Nations unies], he must receive me and I will know at that moment what this status entails. But already, my father is making history of Côte d’Ivoire from which it had been erased. For me, this is the most important”, rejoices Mireille Gueï, UDPCI deputy.
An “unsustainable” trial
General Robert Gueï came to power following a mutiny that turned into a coup against Henri Konan Bédié on Christmas Eve 1999, which earned him the nickname “Santa Claus in fatigues”. He will remain at the head of the junta until the presidential election of 2000. This career soldier, Saint-Cyrien, will be assassinated three years later, on September 19, 2002, during a failed putsch against Laurent Gbagbo which had led to the takeover of the north and west of the country by the rebellion.
Ivory Coast: Henri Konan Bédié and Santa Claus in fatigues