Home POLITICS IVORY COAST: “Wattao”, the former rebel chief who died.

IVORY COAST: “Wattao”, the former rebel chief who died.

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His real name Issiaka Ouattara, Wattao, faithful to Guillaume Soro, died on Sunday January 5, 2020 in New York where he was evacuated since December 13, 2019 for medical reasons. According to several sources, poorly treated diabetes is the cause of his death.

This is news that moves all of Côte d’Ivoire. The former rebel leader had helped to install President Alassane Ouattara in power. Rumors about his death in recent days have caused a lot of ink and saliva in a country currently marked by strong political tensions between Guillaume Soro and the current president.

Wattao was part of the “Com’zone”, military leaders of the former rebellion who had shared control of the northern half of the country after the failure to overthrow Laurent Gbagbo on September 19, 2002. A Bouaké as in Abidjan, “Saha Bélé-Bélé” (the big snake), as we liked to call it, will have marked the spirits by the wars but especially by its history.

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Poor child, originally from the extreme northeast of the country, enlisted in the army thirty years ago, Wattao, following the conquest of Abidjan, in April 2011, had occupied the southern districts of the city, where most of the Lebanese and French businessmen are concentrated.

The control of this area allowed him to help certain executives of the Gbagbo regime to leave the country to go to Ghana.

But previously, the illegally mined gold and diamond mines in the north and center of the country, as well as the cocoa and coffee trade, had already made him a wealthy man.

His death leaves Côte d’Ivoire in an even more tense political situation since many citizens do not exclude the theory of poisoning as the cause of his death. Wattao was very close to Guillaume Soro currently wanted by the Ivorian justice.