The following report highlights major news developments in politics and health in Cote d’Ivoire on 10 August. This edition focuses on a meeting between Ivorian and Malian prime ministers, former President Laurent Gbagbo’s decision to form a new political party, and health-related matters. The report includes background information to add context to the news.

POLITICS

Ivorian, Malian Prime Minister Meet in Abidjan

Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi granted audience to Mali’s transition Prime Minister Choguel Maiga in Abidjan on 9 August. According to media reports, Maiga’s visit aimed to explain the reasons behind the second coup d’etat that occurred in Mali on 24 May.

Background: Diplomatic and economic relations between Cote d’Ivoire and Mali became tense since the Ivorian Government implemented the sanctions that the ECOWAS imposed on Mali in 2020 following Mali’s coup that toppled former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The sanctions include the suspension of all commercial transactions with Mali, among other decisions.

Former President Announces Plans To Form New Political Party

During a 9 August convention in Abidjan, former President Laurent Gbagbo proposed the formation of a new political party following divisions within his opposition Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party. The new party will retain the content of the old founding texts but not the same name.

Background: Since the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, the FPI has seen divisions with one (official) branch held by Pascal Affi N’guessan, a former prime minister under Gbagbo, opposed to a branch that includes the hardliners often referred to as the GOR (“Gbagbo or nothing”). Upon return to Cote d’Ivoire after serving a 10-year jail term at the International Criminal Court, Gbagbo sought divorce with former First Lady Simone Gbagbo, he met with former President Henri Konan Bedie and President Alassane Ouattara, separately. His latest move was his 9 August decision to break away from the FPI, the party he founded. Observers wonder how Gbagbo’s various moves would enable him to reposition himself for future political battles.

HEALTH

Cote d’Ivoire Records 182 New COVID-19 Cases as of 8 August

As of 8 August, the Ivorian Ministry of Health said it recorded 182 new cases of COVID-19 out of 4,397 samples taken. It recorded 4.1 percent of positive cases, 152 cured, and zero death. Also, as part of efforts to strengthen health control at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport of Abidjan, the Ivorian Government announced that all travelers coming from Dakar and Tunis are subject to a “free COVID-19 test since 6 August.”

Background: Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cote d’Ivoire has reported 51,380 confirmed cases, of which 50,069 people have been cured, 341 died, and 970 are active. As of 7 August, the country administered 3,346 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total of doses administered to 1,143,268.

Customs Office Seizes More Than 7 Metric Tons of Fake Medicines in Northern Town 

The Ivorian Customs Department announced on 9 August that it seized more than seven metric tons of substandard and fake medicines concealed in a trailer truck transporting 20 metric tons of cashew nuts in the northern town of Niakara.

Background: Antimalarial and antibiotics are among the most commonly reported substandard and fake medical products in Cote d’Ivoire. In July, the Ivorian police seized 700 kilograms of substandard and fake medicines consisting of anti-malaria, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and drinking solutions in the central town of Beoumi.

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