Former Head of Ivorian Parliament Vanishes After Arrest Warrant Release

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Guillaume Soro has disappeared following the release of the arrest warrant. The former head of Ivorian parliament, last known address was France. He is being sought after to answer for treason charges. Soro is accused of inciting an uprising in Ivory Coast during the controversial presidential elections that Alassane Ouattara won.

Brief History of Former Head of Ivorian Parliament Undertakings

In September 2002, Soro triggered the Ivorian Civil War after leading the Patriotic Movement of Côte d’Ivoire in a rebellion against President Laurent Gbagbo.  Following a peace deal signed in March 2007, Soro was endorsed and appointed as a Prime Minister by Gbagbo. An assassination attempt was made on his life, leaving four people killed and ten others injured, but Soro escaped unharmed.

Soro later resigned from the premier position in 2010, after Gbagbo-allied  Constitutional Council announced the 2010 poll results and swore in Gbagbo as President. Soro was at that time supporting the opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara who had been declared the winner by the electoral commission.

Ouattara reappointed Soro after taking an oath of office. Soro was then elected into the National Assembly in the December 2011 Parliamentary election. He then resigned as Ouattara’s Prime Minister on March 8, 2012. On March 12, the same year, he assumed the presidency of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire. He later stepped down from the position in February 2019 and announced his presidential aspiration in June the same year. Soro wanted to succeed President Alassane Ouattara.

The fallout

Soro’s presidential ambitions caused a rift between him and President Ouattara. His influence would have played a key role in his bid for another term in power if he were to side with Ouattara.

Soro, in absentia, was served a jail term of 20 years on charges of embezzling funds and money laundering on April 29, 2020.

President Ouattara explained that “the place” of Guillaume Soro was “in prison during his presidential campaign.”

He is no longer in France

In an interview with Jeune Afrique, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that the former rebel leader is no longer in France.

“I believe he is no longer in France. He does not have to be creating disorder, and his presence is not desired on our territory, as long as he behaves that way,” Macron said.

Soro had been operating from France after fleeing Ivory Coast.

Arrest Warrants

According to KOACI, Ivorian Justice this week, transmitted arrest warrants against Guillaume Soro, and three of his collaborators went to exile in France. The three were: Moussa Toure(communications advisor), Abdloulave Fofana, and Issiaka Fofana. The arrest warrants were also sent to Switzerland and Belgium.

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