Former Ivory Coast President Dies at Age 86

Former Ivory Coast President, Henri Konan Bedie, part of an old guard of politicians who dominated politics in the West African nation for a generation, is dead.

Aged 89, a close relative of the late former Ivorien leader disclosed his demise to Reuters on Tuesday.

Bedie served as president from 1993 until his ouster in 1999 and later ran a losing race against his long-time political rival, President Alassane Ouattara, in elections in 2020 when he was 86 years old.

It is not clear how Bedie died.

His spokesman could not be reached for comment.

He was long remembered – and in some parts reviled – for his role in promoting the issue of “Ivoirite”, or Ivorian identity.

The issue fuelled tensions between those who considered themselves natives in the South and East, and the many foreign workers from neighbouring countries long settled in the country’s North.