Guillaume Soro

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Guillaume Soro
Guillaume Soro in 2007.jpg
Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast
In office
4 April 2007 – 13 March 2012*
President Laurent Gbagbo
Alassane Ouattara
Preceded by Charles Konan Banny
Succeeded by Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio
Minister of Defence
In office
11 April 2011 – 13 March 2012
Preceded by Amani N'Guessan
Succeeded by Alassane Ouattara
Leader of the Patriotic Movement
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 December 2005
Preceded by Party established
Personal details
Born (1972-05-08) 8 May 1972 (age 42)
Diawala, Ivory Coast
Political party Patriotic Movement
Religion Roman Catholic
*The office of Prime Minister was disputed between Soro and Gilbert Aké from 6 December 2010 to 11 April 2011.

Guillaume Kigbafori Soro (born 8 May 1972) is an Ivorian politician of Roman Catholic faith. He was the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire from April 2007 to March 2012. Prior to his service as Prime Minister, Soro led the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire, and later the New Forces as its Secretary-General.[1][2] Since March 2012, Soro has been President of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire.

Ivorian Civil War[edit]

Soro led the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) in a September 2002 rebellion against President Laurent Gbagbo that triggered the Ivorian Civil War. In December 2002 Soro's MPCI combined with two other rebel groups, the Ivorian Popular Movement of the Great West (MPIGO) and the Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP), to form Forces Nouvelles de Côte d'Ivoire (New Forces). He was appointed the group's Secretary-General.

Political career[edit]

Following a peace agreement in January 2003, Soro became Minister of Communications for the Ivory Coast.[3] The New Forces ministers began a boycott in September and returned the following January.[4] After an opposition demonstration held in Abidjan in March 2004 was violently broken up, President Gbagbo dismissed Soro and two other ministers from their positions. Soro denounced the dismissals, saying they were effectively a coup by Gbagbo against the peace agreement.[5][6] On 9 August Soro's position was reinstated.[7]

On 28 December 2005, Soro was appointed Minister of Reconstruction and Reintegration by Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny.[8] He attended his first cabinet meeting in this capacity on 15 March.[9]

Prime Minister[edit]

Soroguillaume.jpg

Following a peace deal signed on 4 March 2007, Soro was considered a possibility for Prime Minister, and got Gbagbo's endorsement.[10] In an interview published on 26 March, Soro said that he would be willing to assume the position.[11] Gbagbo officially appointed him on 29 March,[12][13] Soro took office on 4 April,[14] and his 32 ministers were named on 7 April, many of whom served under his predecessor.[15][16]

In a speech on 13 April, Soro apologized "to everybody and on behalf of everybody" for the harm caused by the rebellion.[17] On 30 July, Soro and Gbagbo participated in "peace flame" disarmament ceremony, which involved the burning of weapons to symbolize the end of the conflict.[18][19]

The peace agreement barred Soro from standing in the 2010 presidential election, and he told Jeune Afrique in a March 2008 interview that he would discuss his political future after the election. It has been rumored that Soro and Gbagbo have made a secret agreement, whereby Soro would support Gbagbo in the election and, in exchange, Gbagbo would back Soro in the subsequent presidential election. Soro dismisses this as "gossip," describing himself as an "arbiter of the electoral process," and further said the New Forces would not back any candidate and that its members could vote for whomever they wished.[20]

When the Gbagbo-allied Constitutional Council announcedd their results of the 2010 poll and Gbagbo was sworn in, Soro resigned as prime minister, supporting opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara. Ouattara had been declared the winner by the electoral commission, and reappointed Soro after taking the oath of office at a rival ceremony.

Soro was elected to the National Assembly in the December 2011 parliamentary election on 12 March 2012, ensuring his presence in Ivorian politics.[21]

Assassination attempt[edit]

On 29 June 2007, a Fokker 100 carrying Prime Minister Soro, members of his delegation, and 20 journalists was taxiing on a runway at an airport in Bouakéa when it was targeted by rocket and Kalashnikov fire. One rocket struck and exploded in the cabin, one missed, and a third bounced off the fuselage and did not detonate. Soro wasn't injured, but four people were killed and ten others wounded.[22] Those who died were Security Chief Drissa Ouattara, the Prime Minister's bodyguard Siaka Diomandé, and Protocole d’Etat members Sékou Doumbia and Souleymane Sérifou.[23] Arrests were subsequently reported.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oliver Furley and Roy May. Ending Africa's Wars: Progressing to Peace, 2006. Page 71.
  2. ^ Christopher L. Salter and Joseph John Hobbs. Essentials of World Regional Geography, 2006. Page 489.
  3. ^ Anne Boher, "Ivory Coast coalition government raises hopes", Reuters (IOL), 16 April 2003.
  4. ^ "Soro meets Gbagbo, opposes multiple referendum", IRIN, 13 January 2004.
  5. ^ "Gbagbo sacks rebel chief from power-sharing cabinet", IRIN, 20 May 2004.
  6. ^ "Ivorian rebel ministers sacked", BBC News, 20 May 2004.
  7. ^ "Power sharing cabinet meets for first time in five months", IRIN, 9 August 2004.
  8. ^ "New government announced after weeks of haggling", IRIN, 29 December 2005.
  9. ^ "Rebel leader attends first cabinet meeting in over a year", IRIN, 15 March 2006.
  10. ^ "Ivory Coast rebel chief, official in talks", AFP (IOL), 14 March 2007.
  11. ^ Loucoumane Coulibaly, "Soro is ready to be premier of Ivory Coast", Reuters (IOL), 27 March 2007.
  12. ^ "Rebel leader 'is new Ivorian PM'", BBC News, 27 March 2007.
  13. ^ "Soro appointed PM", News24.com, 29 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Former rebel leader takes over as Ivory Coast's prime minister", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 4 April 2007.
  15. ^ "Gbagbo names government led by rebel", Reuters (IOL), 7 April 2007.
  16. ^ "Ivorian Premier Guillaume Soro forms a government of 32 ministers", African Press Agency, 7 April 2007.
  17. ^ "Ivorian PM’s apology captures weekend newspaper headlines", African Press Agency, 15 April 2007.
  18. ^ "Ivory Coast leaders burn weapons", BBC News, 30 July 2007.
  19. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: Gbagbo en zone rebelle pour prôner la paix et des élections rapides", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), 30 July 2007 (French).
  20. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: Guillaume Soro exprimera ses ambitions après la présidentielle", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), 17 March 2008 (French).
  21. ^ "Ivory Coast's Soro elected head of parliament", Reuters, 12 March 2012.
  22. ^ Rockets fired at Ivorian PM plane, BBC News, 29 June 2007
  23. ^ "Obsèques nationales pour les victimes" (in French). Centre d'informations et de communication gouvernementale (CICG). 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2007. 
  24. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: arrestations après l'attentat contre le Premier ministre Soro", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), 30 June 2007 (French).

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Patriotic Movement
2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Konan Banny
Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast
2007–2012
Succeeded by
Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio
Preceded by
Amani N'Guessan
Minister of Defence
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Alassane Ouattara