Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko Dies at 56

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko has died from cancer at the age of 56 in a hospital in Freiburg in southwestern Germany on March 10, the government said.

“Our country is in mourning. I am deeply saddened to announce the death of Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko,” President Alassane Ouattara said, adding that Bakayako served “with dedication and self-sacrifice.”

“He was a great statesman, a model for our youth, a personality of great generosity and exemplary loyalty,” Ouattarra also said.

“He was a key player in the political game and a major player in reconciliation. It’s a true shame,” Opposition Ivorian Popular Front Spokesperson Issiaka Sangare told AFP News.

Bakayoko, who was also the defense minister, was flown to France in Feb. 18 for medical tests, then he was transferred to Germany due to his health deteriorating.

Bakayoko’s death came two days after his 56th birthday and some eight months after he was appointed as Prime Minister following the sudden death of his predecessor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly.

A close ally to Ouattara, Bakayoko served as telecommunications minister in 2003, interior minister ion 2011, and mayor of Abidjan district of Abobo in 2018.

Last March 8, Ouattara appointed Patrick Achi as the interim prime minister and Tene Birahima Ouattara, who is the president’s younger brother, as interim defense minister.

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