View Full Version : Ghana Fingered In Abortive Cote d’Ivoire Coup Plot

16th June 2012, 10:54 PM
Government officials in La Cote d’Ivoire are blaming supporters of ousted President, Laurent Gbagbo, who they claim are based in Ghana, for this week’s attempted coup plot which was aimed at toppling the government of President Allasanne Ouattara.

According to Ivorian Interior Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, after the arrest of Commander Anselme Séka Yapo, ex-aide of the wife of Laurent Gbagbo, in October 2011, a group of Ivorian officers who are refugees in Ghana developed a plan to destabilize La Cote d’Ivoire between January and March 2012.

"We had very specific information that a group of officers in exile in (the Ghanaian capital) Accra were preparing a military operation in Ivory Coast aimed at destablising the country," Mr Bakayoko said.

Prez Mills (L) at the investiture of Prez Allasanne Ouattara (R)

RTI, Ivory Coast’s State Television, aired undated video footage showing a group of uniformed men, including a spokesman proclaiming the dissolution of the West African country's institutions and the creation of a "Council for national sovereignty".

"This video is authentic," said Bakayoko, who added that the coup plotters' spokesman, whom he named as Colonel Kate Gnatoa, and several others had been arrested. Colonel Gnatoa, was arrested upon his return from Ghana.

Among the alleged leaders of the would-be putsch was former defence minister Moise Lida Kouassi, who was arrested last week in Togo, Bakayoko said.

Mr Moise Kouassi, in a televised confession, revealed that “documents that were seized during my arrest at my house in Lome did concern a transition and a crisis communication in Ivory Coast."

Mr Kouassi explained that upon the successful toppling of President Ouattara’s government, Col Gnatoa was to announce the formation of the Council for national sovereignty, announcing the suspension of all political activities, border closures and inviting foreign forces in Ivory Coast to stay neutral.

Several fighters who launched deadly raids on villages across the border in La Cote d’Ivoire are quoted as having received regular financing from abroad, including Ghana and from gold mining in eastern Liberia.

A number of high-ranking military and political figures close to Gbagbo are living in exile in Ghana. Ivory Coast has issued international arrest warrants for several, but Ghana has yet to act on them.

Source: Fiifi Arhin/thestatesmanonline.com