Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara reshuffles cabinet, replaces key ministers

Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara replaced ministers in charge of defense, budget and the interior on Wednesday in a reshuffle of key cabinet positions, a government official announced in a statement.

The world’s top cocoa producer has endured successive waves of army mutinies this year that have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-outs to soldiers and tarnished Ivory Coast’s image as a post-war success story.

Hamed Bakayoko, who had been serving as Interior Minister, took over the defense post, according to the statement read to reporters by Patrick Achi, the secretary-general of the presidency, before the start to a cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile Sidiki Diakite, the prefect of Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, was named Interior Minister.

Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly will take on the budget portfolio and will be assisted by Moussa Sanogo in the role of a secretary of state. Former Budget Minister Abdourahmane Cisse was named as a special advisor to Ouattara.

The previous Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi will now head the Water and Forestry Ministry.

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