Former Ivory Coast President Bédié known for promoting ethnic tensions dies at 89, his party says
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Ivory Coast president Henri Konan Bédié died Tuesday night at the age of 89, according to a communiqué from his party.
State media reported that he was rushed from his hometown of Daoukro in central Ivory Coast yesterday evening after falling ill. He arrived by helicopter around 8 p.m. at a hospital in Abidjan, the nation’s largest city and economic hub, where he passed away.
Till his death, Bédié was president of the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast, which planned to take part in the nation’s 2025 elections.
In a statement on Wednesday, his party called him a “Great Statesman” who worked to bring peace to the country and “the Grandeur of our nation.”
A career diplomat and politician, Bédié was head of state in the West African nation from 1993 to 1999 before he was overthrown in a military coup.
The late president was known for promoting the concept of “Ivoirité,” which stoked ethnic and religious tensions and corresponded to an uptick in violence against immigrant groups in the country.