BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 25 December, 1999, 14:09 GMT
Ivory Coast's new 'Le Boss'

General Guei is nicknamed "Le Boss" by his army colleagues
The leader of Ivory Coast's army mutiny has been described as a respected former military chief with a chequered political past.

General Robert Guei is a long-time nemesis of former President Henri Konan Bedie, who - in a Radio France Internationale broadcast on Friday - called the new leader "the nitwit who has proclaimed himself president".

The 58-year-old general became Ivory Coast's military chief in 1990, but he was fired in 1995 after criticising President Henri Konan Bedie for using the military to suppress student riots.

He went on to be appointed minister of sports, but President Bedie dismissed him from the cabinet for unknown reasons shortly after the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

He has enjoyed widespread respect in the army and his colleagues in the military give him the nickname "Le Boss".


Guei's army coup has come as a shock to Ivorians
Mr Guei faced humiliation in 1997 when the president ordered him to be removed from the military after allegations he had tried to plan a coup two years earlier.

He has kept a low profile since then, despite being an ally of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who is in exile after courts ordered his arrest on charges of forging citizenship documents to enter presidential elections in 2000.

Promises

BBC correspondent Mark Doyle says General Guei's control over local TV and radio stations is crucial to his claim to power.

He has used his TV appearances to proclaim the usual list of promises by a leader of a coup d'etat - a return to democracy and respect for international agreements.

But he himself has been accused of allowing soldiers to torture student protesters in 1990, and his presidential promises were made with him surrounded by gun-toting soldiers in battledress.

The Ivory Coast has traditionally been one of the most stable countries in Africa, and this coup has come as a surprise and a shock to most people.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories